Deal would send former bank manager to state prison
Jodi Spiegel Arthur
Wearing a bright yellow prison jumpsuit and handcuffs attached to a belt around his waist, Joseph Guy Policare Jr., a former manager at First Savings Bank of Perkasie in Dublin, stood before District Justice Charles Baum in Perkasie Thursday, Jan. 23, and agreed to a deal that would require him to spend the next 2½ to 5 years in prison for stealing more than $355,000 from seven of the bank’s elderly customers over five years.
The 58-year-old resident of the 1000 block of Brookfield Circle, Quakertown, waived his right to a preliminary hearing and agreed to plead guilty in Bucks County Court at a later date.
The plea deal, sanctioned by the bank and the victims, who were present in the courtroom, also requires Policare to make restitution payments to his victims and serve 10 years on probation consecutive to his jail term.
If restitution is not paid by the end of Policare’s probation, he could be sent back to jail or have his probation term extended, Assistant District Attorney Kate Byrne told the victims, who did not comment on the deal.
Policare, who has no prior record, was arrested Dec. 11 and charged with forging 59 cash withdrawal slips and stealing from the accounts of “at least six” bank customers, ages 83 to 95, between Jan. 12, 2009 and Nov. 9, 2013, according to court records.
Todd Hurley, the bank’s chief retail officer, said there were seven known victims at the time the charges were filed, and an investigation by the bank turned up two additional victims.
He said the bank’s investigation has been completed, but customers are invited to call the bank to have their accounts examined, if they have concerns.
“We have made all of the victims in this case whole, and we are pleased with the outcome today,” Hurley said. He added that the additional victims also have been reimbursed.
The alleged thefts came to light when an 83-year-old customer noticed the balance in her certificate of deposit was lower than it should have been. The bank’s security director investigated the claim and then began reviewing other customer’s accounts accessed by Policare.
In exchange for Policare’s promise to plead guilty to identity theft, forgery and theft by unlawful taking or disposition in the Court of Common Pleas in Doylestown, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office agreed to withdraw charges of access device fraud, theft by deception, theft by failure to make the required disposition of funds and receiving stolen property.
If Policare changes his mind and does not enter the plea, he will be tried on all charges and could face a stiffer sentence, if found guilty, Byrne said.
Policare’s attorney, Ed Angelo, said it was unlikely his client would change his mind.
“He seems to be fine with this,” Angelo said. “He’s very remorseful and regrets what he’s done … He kind of got himself into a black hole that he couldn’t get out of.”
Angelo said Policare wants to serve his time and move forward.
Speaking to the victims, Byrne said, “Hopefully, this is kind of the end of you guys having to come to court.” However, she told them, they are welcome to attend future hearings and to speak to the sentencing judge, if they wish to do so.
“I know there’s probably a lot of emotions going on,” she said.
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