Pair Of Clearwater Employees Charged With Separate Instances Of Theft From The City

A pair of employees of the city of Clearwater government are facing felony charges related to alleged theft of money and materials from their employer.

Investigators say Christopher Andrew Pieslak altered two checks written to the city government by replacing his own name on the instrument and depositing them into his own personal checking account. They say he received two different checks, one for $1,450 and the other for $1,400, from a local body shop in payment for a wrecked police vehicle. Instead of turning those checks over to the city, investigators say he deposited the altered checks in one branch of his financial institution, then withdrew the same amount from a different branch.

Clearwater police say they were alerted of the apparent fraud by the financial institution after the deposit of the second check. According to investigators, Pieslak admitted to the first instance when questioned on the second event.

The New Jersey native was booked into Pinellas County Jail on two counts of uttering forged bills and one count of grand theft. He was released early the next day after posting a bond of $6,000.

Brian E. Pape of Tarpon Springs was arrested later the day Pieslak bonded out after investigators say he filled his personal vehicle with gasoline belonging to the city at least ten times since May.

Investigators say Pape parked a city vehicle in front of his own vehicle in such a way as to appear to surveillance cameras that he was filling the former while actually putting gasoline in the latter. They say he obtained at least 181 gallons in this manner, totaling $468.

Pape, originally of Indiana, was booked into Pinellas County Jail on one count of scheming to defraud. He bonded out the next morning after posting a bond of $5,000.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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