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

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

Local

Man dies trapped in elevator shaft at Bronx…

A man in his twenties died after being trapped in an elevator shaft of a Bronx building early Monday, police said.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Tech

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble…

By Deepa SeetharamanSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and…

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…