No. 673 Pittsburgh, 1981, Appeal From the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Criminal Division, Nos. CC8001983A, CC8001984A and CC8004719A.
Paul Bogdon, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Dara A. DeCourcy, Assistant District Attorney, Pittsburgh, submitted a brief on behalf of Commonwealth, appellee.
Spaeth, Brosky and Montemuro, JJ.
[ 319 Pa. Super. Page 370]
This is a pro se appeal from an Order of Court denying the appellant, Eric Schreiber's, petition to withdraw his guilty plea entered in the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County.
Three informations were filed against the appellant. Under Information No. CC8001983 (hereinafter No. 1983), he was charged with seven (7) counts of Misapplication of Entrusted Property,*fn1 seven counts of Securing Execution of Documents by Deception,*fn2 and two counts of Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Funds Received.*fn3
[ 319 Pa. Super. Page 371]
At Information CC8001984 (hereinafter No. 1984), the appellant was charged with four counts of Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition,*fn4 four counts of Receiving Stolen Property*fn5 and two counts of Misapplication of Entrusted Property. At Information No. CC8004719 (hereinafter No. 4719), the appellant was charged with one count of Default in Required Appearance.*fn6 All of these charges arise out of the appellant's employment as Controller and Financial Affairs Vice President of Vision Service Plan of Pennsylvania, Incorporated.
Appellant pled guilty to all sixteen counts under No. 1983 and to the one count under No. 4719. With regard to No. 1984, the appellant pled guilty to counts one, four, seven and nine all charging Theft by Unlawful Taking. The remaining counts under this information merged with one, four, seven and nine, and, therefore, were dismissed by the District Attorney. The appellant was sentenced at No. 1984 to three and one-half (3 1/2) to seven (7) years imprisonment for each of counts one, four and seven, to be served consecutively, and seven years probation for count nine, to be consecutive to the sentence at count seven. The appellant's petition to withdraw his guilty plea nunc pro tunc was denied.
On appeal, it is argued that the appellant's guilty plea was not voluntarily entered. More specifically, the appellant contends, (1) that the guilty plea was invalid because there was no on-the-record explanation of the elements of the crimes charged and (2) that the court below misinformed him of the maximum penalty for these offenses. The appellant further argues that counsel was ineffective in failing to ensure that the court explain to him the elements of the crimes charged and the correct maximum possible sentences for those crimes. Finally, it is contended that the court below imposed an illegal sentence.
[ 319 Pa. Super. Page 372]
The appellant attempted to withdraw his guilty plea after the court below imposed sentence. When considering a petition to withdraw a guilty plea submitted to a trial court after sentencing, "a showing of prejudice on the order of manifest injustice" is required before withdrawal is properly justified. Commonwealth v. Shaffer, 498 Pa. 342, 346, 446 A.2d 591, 593 (1982), quoting Commonwealth v. Starr, 450 Pa. 485, 490, 301 A.2d 592, 595 (1973). Manifest injustice ...