Ex-EMA Coordinator admits to identity theft

The county’s former Emergency Management Coordinator pleaded guilty to charges of identity theft and access device fraud and has admitted that he used another former employee’s personal information to open credit card accounts.

Robert Thatcher Jr., 32, Hallstead, admitted to the charges Wednesday in the Susquehanna County Common Pleas Court stemming from a series of events which occurred in June 2018.

Thatcher will be sentenced May 1 by President Judge Jason Legg after court officials complete a pre-sentencing report.  Each charge, a first degree misdemeanor, carries a potential of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Other charges of possession of stolen property won’t be prosecuted, District Attorney Marion O’Malley told the judge.

Thatcher had been terminated from his position by the county commissioners on June 22, 2018 for reasons unrelated to his alleged criminal conduct.

Montrose Borough Police learned in June that the victim had been notified that applications for Capital One Bank and Citibank credit cards had been made in his name that he did not apply for.

Montrose Police Chief Dale Smith investigated and it was determined the Capital One card had been used to purchase fuel at a Sunoco station in Great Bend and for an online purchase.

The address on the card used for the purchase was 81 Public Ave., Montrose – the address of the county office building where the victim had previously worked.

It was determined the victim’s personal information – including his date of birth and social security number – would have been available to Thatcher.

During the guilty plea hearing, Thatcher admitted that he purchased $142.41 in truck parts online on June 11, 2018 in the victim’s name. The package was delivered to the county office building by Fed Ex and signed for by “R. Thatcher.”

“Mr. Thatcher have you heard these facts?” Legg asked the defendant.

“Yes, sir,” Thatcher responded.

“And do you admit to the facts?” the judge asked.

“Yes, sir,” Thatcher responded.

In July 2018, police interviewed Thatcher at the Pennsylvania State Police, Gibson barracks.  Thatcher at first denied any knowledge about the credit cards or truck parts before he was informed that he could be identified through a fictitious e-mail used in the transaction.

“During the course of that interview he became visibly upset,” O’Malley told Legg.

Thatcher told investigators he became nervous after he received the package and threw it in the dumpster the following day.

Shortly after Thatcher’s arrest the county released a statement describing the case as an “isolated incident” and said that no other information, other than that associated with his victim, had been accessed.

Be the first to comment on "Ex-EMA Coordinator admits to identity theft"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.