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Tax collector can avoid jail with restitution



Published: Mon, August 5, 2013 @ 11:24 a.m.

Tax collector can avoid jail with restitution

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A former southwestern Pennsylvania tax collector can avoid jail if she repays most or all of more than $50,000 in tax receipts she stole and used to pay her own bills.

Fifty-three-year-old Joanne Kushnar, of Fayette City, pleaded guilty Friday and faces five years on probation if she repays the money by the time she’s sentenced in October.

If not, a Fayette County judge has warned Kushnar he’ll sentence her to six to 23 months in jail.

Kushnar was the tax collector in Fayette City until an audit showed nearly $34,000 she collected in city real estate taxes was missing from 2008 to 2012. A related audit found $18,600 in Belle Vernon Area School District taxes were also missing.

County detectives say Kushnar acknowledged stealing the money.


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