Former Delco Councilman Arrested on Charges of Theft, Fraud

By Queen Muse
|  Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014  |  Updated 4:46 PM EDT
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Former Collingdale Councilman James Samuel Bryan was arrested by Delaware County police today for allegedly stealing nearly $3 million from his former employer.

NBC10, Harry Hairston

Former Collingdale Councilman James Samuel Bryan was arrested by Delaware County police today for allegedly stealing nearly $3 million from his former employer.

Former Collingdale Councilman James Samuel Bryan was arrested by Delaware County police today for allegedly stealing nearly $3 million from his former employer.

Bryan faces multiple charges of forgery, theft, receiving stolen property and other related charges. He allegedly stole $2.9 million in funds over the course of 11 years while he was serving as a project manager for Wescott Electric in Aston, Pa.

Delaware County DA Jack Whelan held a press briefing Wednesday afternoon to formally announce the charges.

Detectives Michele Deery and Joseph Nardone began an investigation into missing money last June, after Wescott Electric owner Jim Wescott and Wescott Electric vice president Joe McColgan brought a list of Bryan's fraudulent activities to their attention.

The investigation revealed that Bryan had concocted an intricate scheme in which he would write invoices for jobs that did not exist. Bryan also allegedly created fake purchasing orders for bare copper wire that he would later sell for as much as $2,000 in profit per order.

According to the Delaware County District Attorney's Office, Bryan admitted to detectives that he used the money to gamble as frequent as three times per week at Harrah's Casino in Chester.

In a press release, Whelan called Bryan's alleged actions blatantly deceptive.

"The defendant knowingly and fraudulently stole from his employer, depositing hundreds of thousands of dollars into his personal accounts. He took advantage of his position of authority and employer’s trust, and he will be held accountable for his actions,” Whelan said.

Bryan previously served as the Vice President of the Collingdale Borough Council. He resigned from the council on Oct. 7, last year. Bryan is a registered Republican who was named as a candidate for the borough's magisterial district judge seat last year but he later removed his name from the ballot.

The Delco Times reports that Bryan has hired Philadelphia attorney Michael Diamondstein to represent him in the case.

Representatives from Wescott Electric declined to comment on the charges.

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