Former sheriff's deputy charged with theft by deception, forgery

Staff Writer

BROOKVILLE — A former Jefferson County sheriff's deputy and one-time mayor of Sykesville, Kyle Pisarcik, has been charged with theft by deception and forgery on allegations that he mishandled funds.

In 2017, Pisarcik, 24, Sykesville, and the sheriff's office raised funds for a K-9 so he could become a handler. The office established a checking account at First Commonwealth Bank for a K-9 program. Pisarcik's responsibilities as a K-9 handler included purchasing the necessary supplies for care and training. He was made a signatory on the checking account and was required to obtain approval from either Sheriff Carl Gotwald, Chief Deputy Sandra Means or county treasurer James VanSteenberg before making any purchases related to the program.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Matthew Seefeld, a special agent with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations in the Western Regional Office, on Aug. 2, 2018, while preparing the checking account for audit, Gotwald discovered that some of the supporting documents provided by Pisarcik for his purchases from Leerburg Enterprises, Inc. were not sufficient to reconcile the account. Gotwald contacted Leerburg on Oct. 18, 2018, and was told that Pisarcik did not have an account with the company and had not made the purchases that were claimed.

Gotwald, along with Means and Sgt. Samuel Bartley, called Pisarcik into his office. Pisarcik reportedly told them he did not understand why there was no record of his purchases from Leerburg, and Gotwald instructed him to obtain receipts and credit card statements for proof of purchase.

On Oct. 19, 2018, according to the affidavit, Pisarcik told Gotwald that he had written the checks to himself without making any purchases from Leerburg, expressing that he had some financial problems and did it because he needed the money. Pisarcik resigned and repaid the money for the two fraudulent Leerburg purchases and other purchases that he made via the checking account, which totaled $4,865.75.

Initially, this was thought to be all of the money Pisarcik owed to the sheriff's office; however, Nicholas Scaife, an accountant for the office, audited the checking account and discovered more issues. Pisarcik allegedly submitted two fraudulent invoices from Haag's Feed Store & Milling LLC, totally $660. Haag's provided Gotwald and Scaife with a sample invoice, which did not resemble the invoices submitted by Pisarcik. Pisarcik also allegedly submitted a fraudulent invoice from Shallow Creek Kennels, Inc. for $5,100.78. Gotwald called Shallow Creek and requested a copy of all invoices from the sheriff's office. No transaction in that amount was found. In addition, all of Shallow Creek's invoice numbers begin with a 17, whereas Pisarcik's invoice began with an 82. Lastly, Scaife reportedly discovered an invoice from Shallow Creek for $350 that appeared to be fraudulent because the invoice number was not on the company's "all transactions list," which includes all purchases by the sheriff's office.

Upon completion of the analysis, Seefeld determined that Pisarcik currently owes $5,978.44 to the sheriff's office and recommended that he be charged with theft by deception (a third-degree felony) and forgery (a first-degree misdemeanor). Those charges were filed against Pisarcik on Wednesday through Magisterial District Court 54-3-03 in Brookville.