Businessman Gets Jail For Theft By Deception

February 7, 2019

SCRANTON — A businessman who investigators say took a car due to be surrendered in a bankruptcy case and treated it as his own for 19 months will spend six to 23 months in the Lackawanna County Prison.

Robert J. Kearns, 55, Scranton, was sentenced Wednesday by Judge Vito Geroulo after pleading guilty in August to two counts of theft by deception.

County detectives, who charged Kearns in May, said he took a car a woman was relinquishing as part of a bankruptcy under the pretext of returning it to a creditor in February 2016 but kept the vehicle instead. The woman contacted her attorney, for whom Kearns had worked, after she received a title for the supposedly repossessed car in September 2017.

Kearns was a co-owner of Municipal Energy Managers, a now-defunct Dunmore company that was accused in 2012 and 2013 with bilking millions of dollars from municipalities in four counties through a streetlight privatization and maintenance scheme.


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