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Press Release

Elk County Bookkeeper Embezzled $765,000 from her Employer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

ERIE, Pa. - A resident of Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of wire fraud, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Melissa Bittler, 41, pleaded guilty to three counts before Senior United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Bittler embezzled over $765,000 from the construction company in Johnsonburg where she was employed as the office manager and bookkeeper. Bittler bought and renovated her house and purchased a Honda Pilot with the embezzled company money.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for October 4, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 60 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Bittler on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Johnsonburg Borough Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Bittler.

Updated May 25, 2021

Financial Fraud