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$196,000 Stolen From Clients

HAZLETON — $196,000. That’s how much police say a woman from Carbon County stole from two clients. It was while she was working for an accounting firm in Hazleton.

Alyce Simmons of Weatherly tried to avoid our cameras as she left a Magistrate’s office in Hazleton.

She said nothing, but court documents detail a long history of stealing money during her time working at Joseph Spanial and Associates. It’s an accounting firm on East 9th Street in Hazleton.

Court papers show she admitted to writing checks to herself, totaling $196,000 over five years.

“My husband and I have worked hard all of our life and we still don’t have that kind of money saved. I think that’s terrible. I really do,” said Joan Drasher of Weatherly.

The money came from two of the firm’s clients. One client is a fishing business in New York. The other was Triple J. Community Broadcasting, which runs WYLN-TV in Hazleton. People who work at the accounting firm and WYLN could not be reached for comment.

People who live on Alyce Simmons’ street say they don’t see her out very much and they’re shocked to know that she’s accused of doing something like this.

“I think it’s terrible. Really, I don’t know her, but I’m shocked to hear it,” said Eugene Woodring of Weatherly.

“I can’t believe how people can embezzle money. I mean, I hear so much of it, and I say don’t they audit books once a year or something like that? I know I have mine audited all the time, and I just can’t believe,” said Drasher.

Simmons is free on bail. She’s expected back in court later this month.


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