theft charges 2020

Lewisburg, Pa. – A Centre County business owner has been charged with not paying a subcontractor more than $126,000 for HVAC work done in 2019.

The felony theft charges against Michael L. Regester, 37, of Bellefonte, were filed earlier this month at the office of District Judge Jeffrey Rowe in Lewisburg.

Regester, who owned Regester’s Heating and Air Conditioning, LLC, allegedly had turned over his business and contracts to Air Management Technologies, Inc. (AMT) of Lewisburg in May of 2019, according to the affidavit.

Regester had provided the owner of AMT with his work cell phone, laptop and access to invoices. The subcontracts given to AMT included several Pennsylvania state police barracks and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation facilities.

Both parties signed a subcontractor agreement that stated AMT would be able to access the business bank account for payment, according to the affidavit.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was to deposit payment into Regester’s account within 30 to 45 days. AMT was then supposed to withdraw payment from Regester’s bank account.

However, those payments were not received by AMT. The company reached out to Regester several times between June and August 2019 seeking payment, according to the affidavit written by Trooper Sara Bartlett of Pennsylvania State Police at Milton.

In October 2019, AMT was able to withdraw $13,580.69 from Regester’s account. But that is all they received, as Regester changed the portal password shortly after that, according to the affidavit.

Police obtained a search warrant for Regester’s business accounts in January 2020. They found that between June and October 2019 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had deposited $69,788.48 into Regester’s business account. Between November and December 2019, the Commonwealth deposited $70,895.82 into Regester’s payroll account.

Police determined that $126,671.05 is still owed to AMT by Regester.

Regester was arraigned at Rowe’s office on Sept. 1. Bail was set at $50,000 unsecured. His preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 24.