(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Two Clearfield County residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh for allegedly stealing more than $850,000 from the city government.
The five-count indictment named 63-year-old John Suplizio and 58-year-old Roberta Shaffer, both of DuBois, Pennsylvania, as the defendants on charges of conspiracy and federal program fraud.
According to the indictment, from 2014 to 2022, Suplizio was the full-time city manager of DuBois who ran the day-to-day operations and Shaffer was a city employee who both reportedly conspired to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in city funds.
Beginning as early as 2008, both suspects reportedly used the city’s tax identification number to establish secret bank accounts to divert city money, including about $60,000 in annual administrative fees from the city’s waste management contract.
During the alleged conspiracy, both made large cash withdrawals from these unaudited accounts, wrote checks to themselves and others and obtained cashier’s checks with themselves listed as payees — totaling more than $350,000.
Also, the suspects reportedly spent more than $450,000 from the accounts toward payments on Suplizio’s personal credit card, which was used to pay for personal vacations, utility bills for his home, department store purchases, jewelry store purchases and other personal expenses.
“Suplizio allegedly funneled city money into secret bank accounts that he and Shaffer controlled and that he could use for his personal benefit, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal credit card payments,” United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan said.
“Our communities entrust public officials…with tremendous authority, and when that trust is violated—as is alleged here—this office and our federal and state law enforcement partners will hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole Vasquez Schmitt and Robert S. Cessar and Special Assistant United States Attorney Summer F. Carroll are prosecuting this case.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, Pennsylvania State Police and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation in this case.