PHOTOS: 7 more arrests in Bensalem School District corruption ring

corruption probe bensalem school district
Credit: Bensalem Township Police Department

The Bensalem Township Police Department on Wednesday announced the arrests of seven more people in connection with a wide-ranging, 18-month-long corruption investigation into the Bensalem Township School District.

The second wave of arrests came about six months after 20 people – many of them past or current Bensalem School District employees – were arrested for allegedly cheating taxpayers out of $1.5 million in two separate schemes – a “ghost employee” scam in which grounds crew workers were clocked in and paid for hours they never worked, and a theft and resale ring of school district vehicles and auto repair and replacement parts.

While investigating the “ghost employee” scheme, police allegedly found four members of the school district grounds crew also conspired to steal thousands of gallons of gasoline each week over a five-year period, resulting in the theft of over 13,000 gallons of gas with an estimated cost to the school district of $35,000.

Those grounds crew members were identified as:

corruption probe bensalem school district Stephen Leonardo
Stephen Leonardo, 39, of the 4700 block of Bensalem Boulevard in Bensalem.
Credit: Bensalem Township Police Department
corruption probe bensalem school district Bolinski
Richard Bolinski Jr, 52, of the 1000 block of Harrison Street in Bristol.
Credit: Bensalem Township Police Department
corruption probe Bensalem School District Paul Krex
Paul Krex, 55, of the 1600 block of Hollandale Drive in Bensalem.
Credit: Bensalem Township Police Department
corruption probe Bensalem school district William O'Hara
William O’Hara, 38, of the 70 block of Terrace Road in Levittown.
Credit: Bensalem Township Police Department

All four men turned themselves in Wednesday and were charged with third-degree felony theft, conspiracy and receiving stolen property.

Bail was set for each suspect at $25,000 except for Krex, who was being held on $50,000 bail.

While investigating the auto parts theft and distribution ring, police said they further discovered bus driver Theresa Adams, 63, conspired with head mechanic Frederick Lange to steal $1,000 worth of school district automotive parts.

Authorities also allegedly found Bruce Binder, 63, of CCC Heavy Duty Truck Parts in Bensalem, conspired with Lange to ship at least four 55 gallon drums of antifreeze – which cost the school district $1,200 – to Smith’s Automotive in Bristol Township, where they were not used for school vehicles.

corruption probe bensalem school district Theresa Adams
Theresa Adams, 63, of the 600 block of Avenue B in Trevose.
Credit: Bensalem Township Police Department
corruption probe bensalem school district Bruce Binder
Bruce Binder, 63, of the 300 block of Hyde Lane in Perkasie.
Credit: Bensalem Township Police Department

Adams and Binder are both charged with first-degree misdemeanor theft, conspiracy and receiving stolen property and were Wednesday being held on $25,000 unsecured bail.

Investigators said they most recently learned of thefts being committed by Struble Elementary head custodian Frances Zemartis, 55, who as she cleaned the school was allegedly stealing school district property and teachers’ personal property.

Police said Zemartis stole $1,000 worth of classroom equipment, teaching props, craft materials, toys and other classroom related items.

corruption bensalem school district probe Frances Zemartis
Frances Zemartis, 55, of the 6200 block of Craig Avenue in Bensalem.
Credit: Bensalem Township Police Department

Zemartis was charged with first-degree misdemeanor theft, conspiracy and receiving stolen property and held on $25,000 unsecured bail.

Police said the most recent wave of arrests “conclude the corruption probe into the Bensalem Township School District” and that the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office is currently working on recouping hundreds of thousands of dollars “as part of restitution to the school district.”

Still, investigators are asking anyone with information regarding past or current corruption or thefts within the Bensalem Township School District to call Det. Sgt. Bill McVey at 215-633-3758 or Det. Mark Kelly at 215-633-3664.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.