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Gilbertsville man charged with embezzling from company

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 24 2013 09:32:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 25 2013 05:05:44 AM CDT

The Chester County District Attorney's office is calling this a crime of greed.

GILBERTSVILLE, Pa. -

The Chester County District Attorney's office is calling this a crime of greed. A Gilbertsville man has been charged with embezzling more than $1 million from his employer.

Police say Guido La Vella, 29, was the former chief financial officer for Taylor Gifts.

They say from the moment he started working for the company back in 2009, he was using company dollars to fund a lavish lifestyle.

"When someone steals over $1.4 million from their employer, at a time when Americans are struggling to find a job and pay their bills, and he did this just so he could live the lavish lifestyle that he could not otherwise afford, it is a very brazen act," said Chester County First Assistant District Attorney Michael Noone.

Noone says that La Vella was the sole person responsible for handling the company's finances. But after a bank teller noticed some unusual transactions, Taylor Gifts was alerted of the possible problem and contracted a company to perform an audit.

Police say that is when they discovered that from 2009 to 2013, La Vella stole more than $1.4 million from the company.

They say he purchased several high-end automobiles, spent $48,000 to attend a concert and meet-and-greet with the Dave Matthews Band, bought Eagles season tickets and Tiffany's jewelry.

"He was simply living the high life at the expense of his employer, who trusted him in his position as the CFO," said Noone.

Noone says he hopes this is a warning for other companies.

"It is important to make sure that you have those safeguards in place so that it is not all in the hands of one person and that it is routinely audited because unfortunately people's trust is often betrayed," said Noone.

La Vella is charged with felony theft and forgery. He will have a preliminary hearing in the next few weeks and then a trial date will be set.