Criminal charges were filed this week against a former court supervisor connected to the city’s prison system, accusing him of stealing thousands of dollars in bail money.
Steven Martorano, 42, was charged with stealing more than $150,000 in bail funds from the city’s Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, a spokeswoman for the city district attorney said. Martorano, a former supervisor with the First Judicial District Bail Acceptance Unit, has been charged with theft, receiving stolen property and tampering with public records. He turned himself into authorities this week.
His arrest followed a lengthy grand jury investigation that was able to determine between 2010 and 2011, thirteen bank deposit bags loaded with $155,440 in cash virtually disappeared from the bail acceptance unit inside Curran-Fromhold. Log records maintained by the courts and Brinks logbooks also vanished. Investigators found extensive evidence Martorano was allegedly responsible. Martorano was the sole supervisor in charge of the bail unit.
Martorano would routinely instruct his employees to wrap a rubber band around the cash bags if there was a discrepancy between their tallies of the cash received and the computer tallies, prosecutors said. Martorano allegedly claimed he would recount the money himself. The grand jury was able to determine Martorano was seen with the cash bags in his South Philadelphia home and was never authorized to have the bags in his residence.
In the spring of 2010, the Clerk of Quarter Sessions, which had been responsible for the accounting related to the bail money, was dissolved. Accounting and financial matters related to the bail unit were turned over to the First Judicial District. On Feb. 8, 2011, a meeting was held with the bail unit staff, including Martorano. They were told tat bank reconciliations were behind and new accounting procedures would be in place. Martorano was told to provide the Brinks log books and other documentation related to the cash records.
At that point, according to the grand jury investigation, Martorano not only never attended any further meetings, never provided the records but unexpectedly resigned his position of 10 years. The log books and other financial documents allegedly disappeared when he left, prosecutors said. Investigators learned and an internal audit revealed between the dates in question, $155,440 from the bail unit was never received by Brinks or deposited into the bank accounts of the First Judicial District.
It was determined Martorano, because he had unrestricted access to the money, allegedly funneled $131,908 into the bank accounts of several failing side businesses he had: Independence Helicopter, Is-A-Bella Pizza and Bella Investment Properties. He also allegedly deposited an additional $104,112 into their accounts, but between Sept. 2011 through Feb. 2012, after his resignation, the cash flow into those businesses dwindled to $27,796, officials said.