Former Tax Collector Charged With Stealing $1.3M

A former tax collector in a suburban Philadelphia borough is charged with stealing $1.3 million from the borough and local school district for whom he worked for 25 years.

Officials said 78-year-old Robert Park was arrested Thursday after admitting that he stole more than $200,000 from Aldan Borough and about $1 million from the financially troubled William Penn School District from 2003 to 2012.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said Park is charged with theft by deception, receiving stolen property and other offenses.

"The best way I can describe it is he was day trading this money, gambling the taxpayers money away," said Whelan.

Investigators say Park had 30 different investment accounts set up. Whelan says that Park decided to "borrow" the money from taxpayers to make up for losing his own retirement savings in the 2008 stock market crash.

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His attorney Arthur Donato called it an "unfortunate situation" and says his client is cooperating with authorities.

"Mr. Park will ultimately accept responsibility for this conduct in court and put this matter behind him," said Donato.

Park is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.
 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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