20 busted for $1.2M in suburban school district thefts

Posted: February 13, 2013

Twin corruption probes into the Bensalem Township School District have resulted in 20 arrests, including several district employees.

Bensalem Township detectives received anonymous tips last year that led to the investigations.

Court documents filed today described two brazen schemes, one of which ran for more than a decade.

The first involved ghost employees on the school district's grounds keeping crew. Shannon Dyer, 39, and Tony Ruggerio, 28, received full paychecks and "an excessive amount of overtime" but were almost never seen at work. Dyer's husband, Joseph, 43, was the department's foreman. Total loss to the township: about $207,000.

Both Dyers and Ruggerio were charged with theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

The school district's facilities manager, Robert Mosely, 61, was also implicated in the ghost worker scheme for allegedly signing the time card and payroll records of the two ghost employees. He was charged with theft by deception and misapplication of government property.

The second investigation turned up the theft of nearly $1 million in vehicles, tires and auto parts from the Bensalem School District's garage, according to the court documents.

Fredrick Lange, 68, of Croydon, was lead mechanic and shop foreman of the school district's garage. According to detectives, Lange took orders for car parts during work hours and delivered them in a blue district minivan to buddies who were members of his classic car club. In another instance, he gave 30 vehicles to a junkyard in Pipersville. In return, Lange told detectives that he and his friends would go down to the junkyard and take whatever parts they wanted for free on "school district credit."

Lange, was charged with theft by unlawful taking, criminal use of communications facility, and receiving stolen property.

Jack Myers, 63, the district's business manager who held the titles to the 30 scrapped vehicles, was charged with theft by failing to make required disposition of funds and misapplication of government property, court documents state.

Also charged today were:

Roland "Tex" Angle, 72, of Bensalem; Joseph "Murph" Bound, 64, of Langhorne; Leo C. Cannon, 66, of Newtown; Martin F. Chappell, 62; William Klosz, 63, of Bensalem; Patrick Hammond, 53; William Lopez, 29; Robert Lord Sr., 64, of Bensalem; William O'Hara, 56, of Bensalem; William "Gil Slowe, 74, of Bensalem; Elwyn "Elly" Smith, 56, of Bristol; Ronald Stoud, 69, of Bensalem; Alfred "Fred" Venturino, 59, of Bristol; Joel Zober, 70, of Croydon, all on charges of receiving stolen property and related counts.

Contact staff writer Sam Wood at 215-854-2796, @samwoodiii or samwood@phillynews.com.

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