Spring Grove man pleads guilty to embezzlement

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A Spring Grove man originally accused of embezzling more than quarter-million dollars from the Mechanicsburg-area company where he was vice president has avoided prison.

Jeffrey P. King, 62, pleaded guilty in Cumberland County Court on Wednesday, Jan. 17, to one count of misdemeanor theft, according to assistant district attorney Erin Bloxham.

Jeffrey P. King

He was ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution, court costs and a $300 fine and to serve two years of supervised probation, she said.

As part of his plea agreement, King forfeited any financial interest he had in Valley Supply Inc. at 700 Independence Ave. in Upper Allen Township, according to Bloxham.

Township police said King embezzled about $272,000 from the company between January 2011 and September 2013. The business sells concrete and cinder building products to both wholesale and retail customers, according to police.

Police: Spring Grove man stole $272K from employer

Asked whether the $272,000 figure was too high an estimate, or whether the agreed-upon $25,000 in restitution was less than King actually stole, Bloxham said the true number is "somewhere in the middle."

Paid in full: After his guilty plea Wednesday, King went to the Cumberland County Clerk of Courts Office and paid the entire $25,000 he owed in restitution, plus his $300 fine and $1,500 in court costs, defense attorney Gerald Lord said.

Lord declined further comment Wednesday.

Bloxham said Valley Supply provided the court with a written victim-impact statement prior to King's plea hearing.

"Our office consulted with them on multiple occasions ... with regard to resolution of the case," she said.

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The background: King was general manager and vice president of Valley Supply. In 2006 the business was purchased under an employee stock ownership plan agreement, and in 2010, King's salary was set at $90,000, court documents state.

In June 2013, the trustee of the business learned that King had increased his own salary to $173,000, according to documents. Valley Supply was struggling financially at that time, and the trustee ordered an investigation into company finances, according to police.

A certified public accounting business was hired to investigate.

"During the preliminary investigation, it was readily apparent that Jeffrey King had been using the business credit cards for personal use and had given himself unauthorized raises and cash bonuses," documents allege.

King was fired in August 2013.

The CPA investigation determined King racked up about $33,000 in unauthorized American Express charges; wrote nearly $22,000 worth of unauthorized checks; gave himself more than $211,000 in raises and bonuses; and gave other employees nearly $31,000 in raises and bonuses.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.