An accountant for local midsize firm Chartwell Law Offices has been sentenced to jail time for embezzling more than $51,000 from the firm to buy tickets to concerts and sporting events, among other purchases unrelated to Chartwell’s business.
Mark Miehlke will serve 15 to 23 days in jail on weekends after pleading guilty to theft charges. He was also sentenced to four years’ probation, according to Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas records.
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said Miehlke paid full restitution before sentencing. He entered a guilty plea in November and was sentenced March 30.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, law enforcement officers found hundreds of fraudulent credit card transactions by Miehlke using cards issued to partners of Chartwell Law, as well as checks he wrote to purchase items for his own personal use, including thousands of dollars worth of computers, tablets and other technology.
Among the items he paid for with partners’ credit cards were concert tickets to see performances by Billy Joel, Pearl Jam, Sting, Peter Gabriel, the Zac Brown Band and Prophets of Rage, as well as Disney’s “Frozen on Ice.” He also bought tickets to a Philadelphia Eagles football game and a Temple University football game, charging documents said.
Other purchases in the affidavit included a pool skimmer, snow cone shaver and gun parts, as well as hundreds of dollars in transactions with Apple iTunes and bills for residential service from Comcast at Miehlke’s home in Pottstown.
The total value of theft was $51,811, court documents said.
Norristown lawyer Jason Donoghue represents Miehlke. Donoghue did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Chartwell, based in Valley Forge, has over 100 lawyers in nineteen offices and seven states. The firm offers services in various areas of litigation, but it has also recently been the subject of litigation in several cases.
In a case that nearly went to trial but recently settled, Chartwell was accused of poaching partners away from Swartz Campbell, another Pennsylvania-based midsize firm, to expand in Florida. And in an ongoing Florida case, Chartwell is suing law firm Wadsworth Huott over the firms’ failed merger.