Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of January 28, 1985, in the Court of Common Pleas of York County, Criminal Division, at No. 402 Criminal Action 1984.
Joshua D. Lock, Harrisburg, for appellant.
John D. Flinchbaugh, Assistant District Attorney, York, for Com., appellee.
Wieand, Beck and Watkins, JJ. Wieand, J., concurs in the result. Beck, J., files a dissenting opinion.
[ 358 Pa. Super. Page 247]
This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence and denial of a motion for new trial based on after-discovered evidence entered by the Court of Common Pleas of York County. Appellant was charged with two counts each of Theft by Deception, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3922, and Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Funds, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3927. She was found guilty of all charges by a jury on July 18, 1984. Post-verdict motions were filed and denied. A timely appeal was filed with this Court but was subsequently dismissed without prejudice in order to allow appellant to pursue a motion for new trial based on after-discovered evidence. The motion was denied January 3, 1986.
Despite having made payment by check to Fairview Township for sewer and refuse bills in early 1983, many
[ 358 Pa. Super. Page 248]
township residents did not receive cancelled checks from their banks. When, in April and May, 1983, these residents repeatedly contacted the township to inquire about the matter, the township felt it necessary to determine the cause since some deposits obviously were not being made. Appellant, who was the township bookkeeper, was asked about the problem and, eventually, appellant and other township employees conducted a search of appellant's office in order to locate a particular deposit slip. The search was fruitless and appellant's employment was terminated shortly thereafter.
In order to determine what had happened to the missing checks, the township had its sewer and refuse accounts audited. The audit disclosed a scheme to steal money from the township. Payments of cash to the township had been stolen and the theft was obfuscated by the substitution of subsequently received checks at the time of deposit. In this manner, the bank deposit slips always showed that the proper gross amount had been deposited. Checks from later days' receipts would then be substituted for the checks used to replace the stolen cash and on and on. In order to insure the availability of a sufficient number of checks with which to maintain this scheme, bank deposits were, occasionally, not made at all. In this manner, a total of $1769.52 in cash and 289 checks totally $17,910.63 were stolen from the township.
On March 7, 1985, nearly a year after appellant's conviction, a bank deposit bag containing 288 of the stolen checks was found by a township employee in a large cabinet which, at the time of the theft, had been located in appellant's office. Based upon this discovery, appellant filed a motion for new trial based on after-discovered evidence with the lower court. The motion was denied.
Appellant's first argument is that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient as a matter of law to sustain the verdicts of guilty since the evidence established that she had no more than ...