Ex-Falls Fire President Pleads to Theft

A former president of Falls Township Fire Company No. 1 will serve three years on probation after paying back more than $34,000 he had stolen from the department.

Christopher J. Carlin, 48, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor theft charge, admitting to allegations he stole fire company funds through unauthorized cash withdrawals and used fire company credit cards to make a number of personal purchases.

At his hearing this week, Carlin (top photo) made full restitution of $34,896.59. He expressed remorse for his crimes and told Bucks County Judge James M. McMaster he chose to steal fire company money to meet his own financial obligations amid declining personal income.

McMaster ordered Carlin as part of his sentence to have no contact with Falls Township Fire Company No. 1, and to hold no position of trust with any non-profit organization. He also must complete 175 hours of community service.

“I’m pleased that we have been able to secure full payment of the amount stolen by the Defendant from Falls Township Fire Company No. 1,” said Deputy District Attorney Marc J. Furber. “Although a primary goal was to ensure that the Fire Company was made whole, the defendant’s conviction and sentence also ensures that he will never again be in a position to betray the trust of a volunteer organization.”

Carlin was arrested earlier this year along with Gary N. Margerum (bottom photo), a fellow former president of the fire company. Among their illicit expenditures was the rental of a New Jersey beach house.

Together they stole some $46,000 from the department between 2013 and 2017, during which time Carlin served as company treasurer and later as president. Margerum also served as company president from 2009 to 2016.

Margerum, 61, is scheduled to appear in court next year on charges of stealing more than $11,000.

Criminal charges are allegations subject to proof in court. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Contact: Marc J. Furber, 215.348.6339, mjfurber@buckscounty.org