Kennett Township files civil action against former manager
By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
From the time a press release from the Chester County District Attorney’s was first circulated on Dec. 10, 2019 detailing the results of the office’s eight-month investigation that led to the arrest former Kennett Township Manager Lisa Moore for allegedly embezzling $3,249,453 from taxpayers, the township has been on a quest to recover as much of the stolen money as possible.
Last week, the township formally initiated a civil action against Moore and her boyfriend, Brian Gore, who allegedly received full medical benefits from the township by pretending to be married to Moore, which cost the township $50,000.
“In terms of recovery, the township is exploring all options to recover as much money as possible,” said Richard Leff, chairman of the township’s Board of Supervisors. “However, the first stop remains the former manager. This civil action puts [Moore and Gore] on notice that there may be a lawsuit coming with regard to claims that the township may have, in regard to money that needs to be paid back.”
The civil litigation against Moore and Gore is one component of the recovery efforts being made by the township, who is working with former Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Poluka, a recovery specialist, and his team at Blank Rome LLP.
Moore, who was hired by the township in 1997 and promoted to township manager in 2010, had allegedly engaged in several long-time, multi-pronged schemes to steal money from the township. She is alleged to have created her own personal parlor game of trickery with township funds beginning in 2013 that had been intended to be used for employee benefits, the township's police department, land preservation and several other township operations.
As stated in the DA’s report, she allegedly used the stolen money to pay for extravagant personal expenses, traveled to countries like Italy and France, and to Las Vegas and spent township money at clothing boutiques such as Michael Kors, Gucci and Chanel.
In April 2019, however, the intricate system that she had created over the past six years began to unravel, when Leff received a phone call from the Capital One Fraud Department related to money transfers Moore had made. After an initial review, the investigation was turned over to the District Attorney's Office, who was assisted by Marcum LLP, a forensic accounting firm hired by the township, in discovering the extent of Moore's complex fraud schemes.
She was charged with felony theft, forgery, computer crimes and related offenses. After her formal arrest, Moore posted an unsecured bail in the amount of $500,000 as set by Magisterial Court Judge Albert Iacocca. On April 14, her attorney Julia Alexa Rogers submitted a waiver that effectively waived what would have been Moore’s preliminary hearing, that was scheduled to take place on April 21 at District Court 15-3-04, 916 West Cypress Street in Kennett Square, with District Judge Albert Michael Iacocca presiding. The case is now scheduled to be heard in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas.
Leff said that the medical coverage scheme allegedly concocted by Moore is just the tip of a potential iceberg of alleged wrongdoings that could possibly lead to additional amounts the township may seek to recover from Moore.
“We had been focusing on the criminal aspects of this investigation, and now we’re looking at the details that the DA’s Office has provided, in terms of which parts of their findings we wish to take forward,” he said. “As we continue to dig through those trails, we are periodically discovering new information.”
“Despite the many hurdles this process has presented, the Board of Supervisors remain committed to recovering every dollar, and it is wholly appropriate for Moore and Gore to make the township taxpayers whole,” said Vice Chair Whitney Hoffman.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.