Erie County OCY Director Facing Felony Charges in Warren County - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Erie County OCY Director Facing Felony Charges in Warren County

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 Kevin Lundeen, the new director of the Erie County Office of Children and Youth is facing theft, fraud and forgery charges in Warren County, where he worked until April of this year. Conewango Township Police say the criminal charges stem from his misuse of two cars and two Kwik Fill gas cards belonging to the Forest-Warren County Department of Human Services.
    
Lundeen was arraigned Tuesday afternoon before District Magistrate Laura Bauer, on two 3rd degree felony counts of theft for taking control of a Dodge Caravan and Dodge Durango from 2005 to 2014, when he worked for Forest-Warren DHS. Investigators say he served as the fleet manager during that time.  The benefits and costs of the theft totaled almost 45 thousand dollars. Lundeen is also charged with two felony counts of access device fraud for buying gas for personal use with two department gas cards during the same time period, adding up to over 23 thousand dollars. Police charged him with two misdemeanor counts for forging the signatures of several fellow employees on gas, duty and travel logs, apparently to cover his tracks.


Police Chief Jason Peters said he was contacted by Mary Kushner, Director of Warren-Forest County Department of Human Services when the fraud was detected.  "When Mr. Lundeen resigned his position here, and the fleet management was turned over to someone else, they found some discrepancies in the paperwork and it was reported to me."

Lundeen was interviewed two times in the course of the police investigation, first on June 13 and again on June 26.  He was presented with numerous gas receipts, duty logs and travel logs for the times and vehicles in question.  According to the criminal complaint, Lundeen told police the vehicles were used for his employment duties, but admitted they were used for personal purposes as well.  And he told investigators that he had forged numerous signatures on documents to falsify the records in an effort to hide his personal use of the vehicles. 


The total loss to the Warren-Forest County Department of Human Services is estimated at $70,000, a figure that does not include the costs of the investigation.  12NewsSeeNews had a tip on the investigation, and first asked the Erie County Executive's Office about the matter last week.  They declined to comment unless charges were filed.  Today Director of Administration Gary Lee said,  "We've just received the complaint and we'll review it and let the investigation proceed in Warren County and then we will have to evaluate and do what's best for Erie County."  For now, Lundeen remains on the job as Erie County OCY Director.




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