The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

June 2, 2013

Company alleges husband was in on theft

HERMITAGE — Hermitage police only charged Jeanne M. Zacherl with embezzling more than $1.1 million from Interstate Chemical, but company officials believe her husband, Daniel J., also played a role in the theft.

Mrs. Zacherl, 65, of 1272 Mercer West Middlesex Road, East Lackawannock Township was charged in November with theft.

Interstate Chemical Co., 2792 Freedland Road, reported Oct. 9 that Zacherl, accounts payable manager with 22 years of service to the company, was believed to have stolen money, police said.

Mrs. Zacherl created fictitious vendor accounts and transferred money into them 44 times from Oct. 15, 2008, and Sept. 19, police said. She would then transfer the money into her personal account, police said.

In an interview with police Oct. 10 - the day she was fired - Mrs. Zacherl admitted stealing more than $1 million over seven years, police said.

Her husband drove a truck for the company for 27 years, but did not know of or participate in her illegal activities, police said she told them.

She gambled the money away in $10 slots at Mountaineer Casino, Race Track and Resort, Chester, W.Va., police said.

The total amount she is accused of stealing is $1,126,763.

Mrs. Zacherl’s criminal case is pending in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

Interstate Chemical, a wholesale industrial chemical maker and distributor, filed a civil lawsuit April 19 against the Zacherls charging them with conversion, breach of fiduciary duty and duty of loyalty, conspiracy, agency and unjust enrichment.

In the suit, the company claims Zacherl benefited from his wife’s thievery, “consented to and acquiesced in said conduct,” encouraged her to embezzle funds, and conspired in the planning.

The defendants have not responded to the suit, but have asked a judge to put it on hold until the criminal case is done.

If they were made to answer the suit, Mrs. Zacherl would invoke her constitutional right not to incriminate herself. If she were only charged civilly, she would have no such right.

The Zacherls argued her testimony is “crucial” and the fact-gathering part of a civil case would be hampered until the criminal case is complete.

A hearing on the motion has been set for June 10 before Senior Judge John C. Reed.

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