Weavers Way CFO resigns amid theft allegations

Henry Martin fills a bulk bin at the Weavers Way Co-op branch in West Mount Airy. (Michael S. Wirtz / Staff Photographer)

The chief financial officer of Weavers Way has resigned amid allegations that he stole more than $25,000 from the Philadelphia food cooperative, its general manager has reported.

Michael McGeary resigned effective April 18 after being confronted about using a business credit card for personal expenses, said general manager Glenn Bergman. Weavers Way reported the news in its June newsletter. Members were informed of the situation at a May meeting, the newsletter said.

"We have reported the theft to the Philadelphia police and are pursuing prosecution through the District Attorney's Office," Bergman wrote in the newsletter.

He said the co-op, which was launched 41 years ago and has 5,000 members, was covered by employee theft insurance but would seek restitution from McGeary.

"Over the last 10 years, we have fired Weavers Way employees for stealing cash or food. None of these cases was prosecuted - we felt they were too minor," Bergman wrote. But McGeary "breached an enormous trust - he was in charge of our finances."

McGeary could not be reached for comment.

More than a decade ago, Weavers Way discovered its finance manager had concealed debts and losses, and had written more than 4,000 bad checks. The bookkeeper, Andrea Sheaffer, agreed to pay $30,000 in restitution to avoid jail.

McGeary was hired by Weavers Way in July 2011, and the alleged thefts began about a year later, Bergman said. By July 2013, the thefts had escalated, he said.

When questionable credit-card charges were first detected, the co-op believed the total amount might have been around $2,000, Bergman said. Auditors have since estimated the amount to be between $25,000 and $30,000.

Bergman, who joined Weavers Way in the wake of the prior scandal, said financial controls at the co-op would be tightened.