Focus in Allenport theft case turns to wife
With former Allenport fire Chief Victor Fedrick entering a plea this week, prosecutors will turn their attention to his wife, former department treasurer Traci Fedrick.
Police allege Traci Lynn Fedrick and Chief Victor Fedrick took $13,476.46 from the fire department over a nine-month period.
This past week, Victor Fedrick, 42, of 4 Center St., Allenport, pleaded guilty to one count each of theft, receiving stolen property, access device fraud and criminal conspiracy. He had been facing 26 counts each of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy to commit theft, and 81 counts of access-device fraud.
A similar offer will be made to Traci Fedrick, 38, during a plea-status hearing Tuesday, Washington County Assistant District Attorney Jerome Moschetta said.
If Traci Fedrick doesn't enter a plea, her case will go to trial, most likely in February.
She is facing 81 counts each of access device fraud and criminal conspiracy to commit fraud, and 26 counts each of theft by unlawful taking or disposition and receiving stolen property.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, RESA police were contacted by fire department members about discrepancies in the department's account at the Mon Valley Federal Credit Union in Allenport.
Police claim that from May 5, 2010, through Dec. 6, 2010, Traci and Victor Fedrick withdrew about $9,210 from the account.
Police said they learned two signatures were needed to withdraw money from the account and that the Fedricks' signatures were used on each of the withdrawals.
The affidavit stated that none of the cash withdrawn was used for fire company business.
In addition, a fuel card issued through Guttman Oil Co. for fire department vehicles was used 81 times from Jan. 4, 2011, through Oct. 31, 2011, at a convenience center at 147 Pennsylvania Ave., Speers, the GetGo, 4285 Route 51, Rostraver Township, and another unidentified business on Lebanon Road in West Mifflin. The total of the purchases was $4,266.46, according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, the purchases were for gasoline. Fire department vehicles use diesel fuel.
Moschetta said prosecutors are not seeking to have one defendant testify against the other.
Washington County Assistant District Attorney Jerome Moschetta said a restitution hearing will be held ahead of sentencing for Victor Fedrick.
While prosecutors contend the Fedricks stole more than $13,000, the couple has contended much of the money was used for legitimate fire department expenses, Traci Fedrick's attorney Alan Benyak said.
Moschetta said Victor Fedrick will acknowledge some of the money was stolen.
Victor Fedrick entered an “open plea,” this week, meaning prosecutors made no recommendation on sentencing. Moschetta said the district attorney's office will make a sentencing recommendation during that phase of the case.
Moschetta said if prosecutors can prove Victor Fedrick stole more than $2,000, a standard sentence could range from probation to nine months in jail.
Allenport fire officials will be key witnesses in determining how much was allegedly taken.
During the sentencing hearing, fire officials will be given a chance to testify about the impact of the loss to the fire department.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.