ERIE, Pa. — Erie County Detectives have charged the former business manager of Saint Peter Cathedral School and his wife with stealing nearly $170,000 over a 12-year period.
Charges were filed today against David W. Earls, 62, and Anne B. Earls, 62, of Falmouth, Maine, in the theft of funds from the school and Saint Peter Cathedral Parish from 2001 through December 2012. David Earls faces felony counts of theft by unlawful taking, access device fraud and receiving stolen property, and a misdemeanor count of tampering with records or identification. Anne Earls faces a felony count of receiving stolen property.
Detectives charge that David Earls diverted funds from the school through payroll by giving himself unapproved raises and extra paychecks; overfunding his 401K; and through diversions related to insurance deductions, according to the affidavit of probable cause that was filed with the criminal complaints.
An audit also determined that Anne Earls, who was a school employee, was paid more than her contracted salary, wrongly received an insurance opt-out wage and was paid additional wages for work that could not be substantiated, according to the affidavit.
The audit additionally determined that David Earls charged more than $13,000 on two school credit cards, detectives said.
Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence T. Persico announced the forensic audit in March after the school entered into a payment plan with the Internal Revenue Service to address a $301,375 lien the IRS filed in February for failure to remit employee withholding taxes in 2011 and 2012. Persico said in late April that donors stepped forward to pay off the lien.
Distributed by MCT Information Services