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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Man accused of stealing from Leeward

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  • - On Friday morning a man accused of embezzling money from Leeward Construction Inc., turned himself in at the Wayne County Courthouse.
    Brian Fazio, 33 of Lackawaxen, was arrested for 34 felony counts related to theft of $71,575 from Leeward Construction, Inc.
    According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Pennsylvania State Police Trooper John Decker, Fazio was employed as an assistant controller for Leeward Construction from Aug. 29, 2011 until May 21, 2013 and was responsible for issuing checks but not signing them.
    During this time period Fazio allegedly filled out checks to himself from Leeward Construction and would "deposit them in his personal checking account."
    On May 20, Fazio wrote a check out to himself in the amount of $5,200 and forged the signature of his superior, Thomas Quinnan.
    Fazio then asked Robert Loscig, another employee at Leeward, if he would "make a deposit for him." Loscig advised it seemed odd and spoke with Patricia Sisk about the check, but the upper management was gone for the day and they decided they would "check with upper management the next day."
    Loscig made the deposit at Honesdale National Bank for Fazio with the deposit ticket Fazio had filled out.
    On May 21, Loscig and Sisk spoke with Karl Harkenreader, CFO Controller for Leeward, and informed him of the check Fazio had him deposit and it was discovered that the check was forged by Fazio, according to the affidavit.
    The affidavit of probable cause further states that Leeward management "spoke to Fazio" on May 21 wherein Fazio admitted he stole money from Leeward. He told Quinnan "he was sorry" and that he "would pay the money back."
    He was fired by Leeward on May 21 and on May 22 a search warrant for Fazio's checking account was obtained by PSP Honesdale and served on the Honesdale National Bank.
    On May 23 the records requested were "received and revealed" that Fazio had written checks and deposited them in a total amount of at least $71,575. A criminal complaint was filed Friday charging Fazio with a total of 34 Felony counts related to theft and forgery.
    Fazio deposited most of the money into his checking account "as shown by the records" received from the bank.
    There were a total of 17 checks discovered. They included the following dates and amounts listed in order according to the affidavit:
    Oct. 8, 2012 for $7,500; Oct. 16, 2012 for $6,875; Nov. 2, 2012 for $4,500; Nov. 29, 2012 for $7,000; Dec. 11, 2012 for $6,500; Dec. 20, 2012 for $3,000; Dec. 26, 2012 for $2,400; Jan. 10 for $6,100; Feb. 1 for $5,800; Feb. 28 for $5,500; April 11 for $5,675; April 20 for $5,200; May 18, 2012 for $400; Oct. 24, 2012 for $1,350; Nov. 2, 2012 for $600; Feb. 15 for $1,425; and March 6 for $1,750.
    On May 22 at 5:30 p.m. Trooper Decker called Fazio at his residence and "asked to speak with him" about the investigation. Fazio advised he "understood" he had the option to speak with Decker, but decided to talk to Decker anyway.
    Page 2 of 2 - Fazio then informed Decker he "called an attorney's office" and was waiting for a call back from them. Decker told him he "could bring" an attorney with him to speak if Fazio "chose to do so."
    Decker asked if Fazio would meet him at PSP Honesdale on May 23 5:30 p.m. Fazio "asked if he was going to be arrested" and was told no. Fazio then agreed to speak to Decker.
    On May 23 around 5:15 p.m. Fazio arrived at the station. After signing the guest book Fazio and Decker "went to the interview room." Decker obtained the identifying information for Fazio.
    Decker stated that Fazio was "free to get up and leave" at any time during the interview if he "should choose to do so." Fazio said he understood and was "willing to speak."
    On May 23 around 5:31 p.m. Decker read Fazio his Miranda Warnings from the Custodial Written Statement form. After finishing reading them, Fazio said he would speak with Decker "without an attorney present." Decker then asked what happened.
    Fazio said beginning "around October 2012" he began to write out checks to himself from Leeward. He advised that he wrote out "numerous checks" with varying amounts from $1,500 to $8,000.
    Fazio stated he would forge Quinnan's signature on the checks. Fazio estimated that he had stolen "from $60,000-$75,000" from Leeward. He told Decker he was "sorry for his actions."
    Fazaio then wrote out a statement advising of the listed facts.
    He appeared at Magistrate Ted Mikulak's office Friday morning for arraignment and bail was set at $750,000. The 34 charges brought against Fazio include 17 counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition and 17 counts of forgery, all felony 2 counts.
    Officials from Leeward Construction were present at the arraignment.
    Fazio is currently incarcerated in the Wayne County Correctional Facility pending his next court appearance at Central Court on May 29 at 9 a.m. at the Wayne County Courthouse.
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