Tuesday, December 11, 2018


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Former Liquor Store Employee Sentenced for Theft
Written by Kelly Chandler Staff Writer

            A 35-year-old Macungie man will be under court supervision for 18 months and have to pay a hefty restitution as part of an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program after being sentenced in Montgomery County Court last month.

            According to court records, Senior Judge S. Gerald Corso sentenced Brian Hughes, of the 5500 block of Spring Ridge Drive, to 18 months' probation and 100 hours of community service as part of an ARD court proceeding August 12.  Hughes will also have to pay back the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board in the amount of $30,935.90.

            According to a criminal complaint, Hughes was arrested in November 2013 on two charges of theft and one count of receiving stolen property in connection with incidents at the Wine and Spirits Store, 26 E. 4th Street, East Greenville.

            Upper Perk Police said Hughes was an assistant manager at the store between January 2012 and May 2013 when he stole between $17,000 and $26,000.  After an investigation, that number was amended to approximately $30,000.  According to court records, Hughes was suspended on May 20, 2013 after authorities found a series of suspicious register transactions during his shifts. 

            Court papers said an investigation into Hughes began after a routine audit was run by the store owner, who noticed that Hughes allegedly had an unusually high number of line deletions, canceled and no sale transactions while logged onto the register.

            According to court documents, Hughes allegedly used several methods to simulate a cash transaction when a customer came to check out. For example, a number of the no sales transactions were immediately preceded by price inquiry transactions, which would open the register drawer and give the impression of a legitimate cash sale, authorities said.  Police said Hughes also used pickup transactions, cancelled pickups and check pickups to simulate actual sales.

            Hughes counted his own drawer at the end of his shift and had the ability to drop his pickup transactions in the safe at any time, without verification by another manager, police said.

            Authorities said the store owner shared his concerns with a district manager, whom alerted the state Bureau of Audits.   

            An investigation revealed Hughes stole the proceeds of what would have been a legitimate cash transaction with a customer, allowing the customer to leave with alcohol and pocketing the cash.





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