The former chief financial officer of a Manchester Township business used three scams to embezzle about $377,000 from the business in less than five years, a prosecutor told jurors on Monday.
Karl Breeden worked for Advanced Industrial Services, 3250 Susquehanna Trail, from 1991 until he was terminated in June 2010, according to company president Michael Yergo.
Trial began Monday afternoon for Breeden, 52, of 2035 Parkton Lane in West Manchester Township. He is charged with the felonies of forgery, theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.
"What do you call it when you give yourself bonuses you're not entitled to?" chief deputy prosecutor Dave Sunday asked jurors during his opening statement Monday. "I call it Karl Breeden Scam No. 1."
Breeden also perpetrated two other scams simultaneously, according to Sunday: He cashed in a year of vacation days he didn't earn and also wrote checks directly to himself, using the company president's signature stamp to "sign" the checks.
"He controlled the finances. He controlled the accounting," Sunday said. "He's the head honcho with regard to the keeping of the books."
'Not a thief': But during her opening statement, defense attorney Suzanne Smith said her client didn't steal any of that money.
"Karl Breeden's not a thief," she said. "Every penny ... he was paid, he was permitted to take."
According to Smith, AIS hired Breeden away from his successful accounting job in 1991 by promising he would eventually be an AIS shareholder.
But that never happened, Smith said.
Years later, Breeden spoke to company officials about his concerns he hadn't received any shares of AIS, she said, and the company renegotiated with him.
Things went bad a short time later, according to Smith.
"Out of the blue, they announce he's terminated," she said, and criminal charges were filed soon thereafter.
The case was investigated by Northern York County Regional Police.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at email@example.com.