Jon Campisi Jun. 18, 2013, 7:33am


A worker at the Montgomery County Courthouse stands accused of theft in an alleged

scheme to defraud the county by purchasing textbooks for a family member with government funds.

Barbara Melnyk, who worked as a bookkeeper in the law library at Montgomery County’s Common Pleas Court, was arrested last week and charged with theft and related offenses stemming from allegations by the county District Attorney’s Office that the defendant used law library funds in the amount of $2,598.37 to buy educational materials for an unidentified relative.

Melnyk was arrested by county detectives the morning of June 14 while at her job at the courthouse.

The arrest, announced by District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, comes after Montgomery County Controller Stewart Greenleaf, Jr., conducted an audit on the law library and finding “irregularities that he felt arose to the level of criminal activity,” according to a District Attorney’s Office press release.

Greenleaf referred the matter to the D.A.’s Office, whose agents confirmed the controller’s finding that during the past three years, Melnyk had been purchasing law textbooks through Amazon with taxpayer money, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Records show that following her arrest Melnyk was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Margaret Hunsicker, who set bail at $10,000 unsecured.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for June 21.

According to her criminal docket sheet, Melnyk, a resident of Norristown, which is the county seat, is being charged with multiple counts of theft, including theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception, as well as receiving stolen property, misapplication of government funds and conspiracy.

Records indicate that Melnyk does not yet appear to have legal representation.

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