Bookkeeper Convicted of Swindling Employer

SCRANTON -- The former bookkeeper of a popular business in Lackawanna County was sent to prison Tuesday afternoon after a jury found her guilty of pilfering close to a half million dollars from a convenient mart in the Mid Valley.

It took a jury about two and a half hours to come down with that felony conviction.

Sheila Bronson was taken to jail after being convicted of stealing from her former employer: Cousin's Convenient Marts.

Bronson's theft trial in Lackawanna County spanned two weeks. It was paused for a few days because prosecutors found evidence that she may have stolen even more than the $492,000.

She was originally accused of swiping from Cousin's Convenient Marts in Eynon and Jessup.

Bronson was brought in as the bookkeeper for the business as its owner, Larry Goodfield, was dying of cancer.

After his death, prosecutors found that the woman from Eynon stole at least $100 a day for about three years.

We talked with jurors after they found her guilty of theft.

"There was a tremendous amount of bookwork, spreadsheets, accounting. It was hard to keep focused on it. There was a lot of bookwork involved in this case," said juror Rolly Keisling

Keisling said the jury chose not convict Bronson of the most serious charge but found her guilty of a felony theft charge for stealing just shy of $500,000.

"What made it, I think, the most interesting, and perhaps difficult is the right word, is the fact that it was all in cash. And you can't wrap your mind around that much cash being stored, spent, run through bank accounts. And I think that was ultimately the demise, is that she ran all the money through the bank accounts. So that was her demise, probably," Keisling added.

The Goodfield family still runs the two Cousin's locations. They were in court for the verdict.

"Relieved and thankful, Attorney Lenehan, Lisa Bauer, amazing women who brought all the evidence to trial in a very organized fashion so that the jurors could understand it. We're so grateful," Lorraine Goodfield said.

After the verdict came down, the judge revoked Sheila Bronson's bail. She was sent to the Lackawanna County Prison but will be formally sentenced in a few months.

Talkback 16 Online Discussion:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

5 comments

  • Laurie

    It’s odd when people comment regarding best practices and procedures of businesses and what should of been done. I’d love to know what small business they own and operate.
    This family had a major tragedy and had a few years where they were putting the pieces of their lives and business back together.
    Once back on their feet they caught her and turned her in.
    This seems like a great family that was brave enough to stand up for themselves and their business! Congrats to this family and business and please stop blaming the victims!!
    This area is so backwards… the hardworking business people should not be on blast!

  • Bill K.

    Once again, the lack of following generally acceptable accounting procedures rears it’s head in north-central PA. It’s admitted they deal with a lot of cash at that business. But only one person handles the cash. The proper handling procedure for cash is that it’s always in simultaneous sight of at least two people. One person counts and records the cash. The the other person counts and records the amount. Receipts for cash are written. Customer gets one, the second goes to the auditors who are separate people than those who handle/count the cash. And once again, the business must share partial responsibility. They allowed this to go on for over three years. Proper auditing over those three years would have caught this within a few months. But we’re in central PA where we trust everybody because “she looked so nice and always said God bless you.”