Businessmen Found Guilty of Stealing $832,000 from Bethlehem Township
Jury finds Patrick McLaine and Robert Kearns, principals of Municipal Energy Managers Inc., bilked Bethlehem Township in deal to purchase streetlights.
Two Lackawanna County businessmen were found guilty of stealing more than $800,000 from Bethlehem Township as a result of a jury trial that wrapped up in Northampton County Court on Friday, according to The Express-Times.
Patrick McLaine and Robert Kearns were the principals for Municipal Energy Managers Inc., which was hired by the township in 2007 to broker a deal with PPL Corp. to buy the township’s streetlights.
The township made an initial payment of $832,000 to MEM with the expectation that the deal would be completed in 18 months.
Instead, a grand jury indictment handed down nearly a year ago alleged that McLaine and Kearns had used the money to pay themselves bonuses and other personal expenses.
While McLaine and Kearns were found guilty of theft, the two men were acquitted on charges of misapplication of funds and conspiracy, according to the published report.
Sentencing is scheduled in March.