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Court administrator caught stealing bail money

By Mason White 11:03 AM November 28, 2014
Steven R. Martorano 

By: Wayne Morin
A court administrator was arrested on charges of theft after allegedly stealing bail money, prosecutors in Pennsylvania said.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Public Corruption Task Force (PCTF) charged 42-year-old Steven R. Martorano, a former First Judicial District Bail Acceptance Unit Supervisor, with theft, receiving stolen property and tampering with public records for stealing over $150,000 in bail money from the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF).

Martorano turned himself in to PCTF detectives and he is currently being processed by police.

The arrest comes as a result of a lengthy grand jury investigation. Grand Jurors found that 13 bank deposit bags with bail money totaling $155,440 disappeared from the First Judicial District’s Bail Acceptance Unit located at the CFCF.

Records related to those funds, Brinks logbooks and the manual bail binder-government records maintained by the First Judicial District, also disappeared.

Extensive evidence presented to the grand jury established that Steven Martorano stole this money, and intentionally and unlawfully removed and concealed those records.

Martorano was accused of regularly instructed his cashiers not to seal their money bags when there was a problem detected with their work for that day, such as a discrepancy between their count of the money and the total amount indicated in their computerized drawer.

Martorano told the cashiers to wrap a rubber band around the bag and its contents, claiming that he would recount the money and try to resolve their issues for them.

Martorano was the sole supervisor in charge of the Bail Acceptance Unit at the CFCF, and was trained in the protocol for the handling of the bags of money.

On several occasions, Martorano was observed with money deposit bags inside his home in South Philadelphia, located in the 3200 block of Chaucer Street.

Martorano owned various businesses while he was employed with the FJD, a helicopter business, operating under the names of Bella Choppers and Independence Helicopter, a pizza shop, Is-A-Bella Pizza, and a company called Bella Investment Properties.

Based upon the evidence in this case members of the 26th Philadelphia County Investigating Grand Jury recommend that Martorano be charged with 13 counts of theft by unlawful taking, 13 counts of receiving stolen property and 3 counts of tampering with public records or information.