Hagerstown man accused of embezzlement in Berkeley Co.

August 28, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Hagerstown man is accused of embezzling more than $31,000 from a state-funded agency while acting as a transportation contractor for Berkeley County School students with special needs.

Marc Allen Porreca, 50, of 479 Links View Drive, was arraigned Wednesday by Berkeley County Magistrate Joan V. Bragg on one count of obtaining money by false pretenses, according to court records.

Bragg set a $10,000 bond for Porreca, who police allege obtained the money from Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) VIII between June 2004 and September 2005.

Porreca was under federal indictment for criminal fraud, money laundering "and a host of other charges," according to a complaint filed by West Virginia State Police Sgt. D.E. Boober.


"... Mr. Porreca had led everyone associated with RESA VIII to believe that his wife had a terminal illness and was out of state receiving treatment when in actuality she was serving a five-year federal prison sentence in connection with the same criminal improprieties for which Mr. Porreca stood indicted in federal court," Boober said.

Records provided to investigators by RESA VIII alleged that the defendant opened unauthorized accounts, including personal mobile phone accounts, a clothing merchandise account and vehicle service accounts, also for personal use, Boober said.

The defendant allegedly used the agency's tax identification number to set up the accounts, and authorities documented 15 fuel purchases at Spring Mills gas station, Boober said.

The fraudulent activity resulted in RESA VIII having to pay off the debts or the agency having been sent to collections for the debt, Boober said.

Porreca's relationship with RESA VIII began in August 2003 when he was classified as a private contractor while working for First Student Inc. He then established a direct business relationship with RESA VIII through the creation of his company, Child Transportation Services, after the 2003-04 school year, Boober said.

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