Pennsylvania couple faces trial in auctioneer theft

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Authorities in Lebanon County, Pa., have confirmed that both the former office manager of respected Pennsylvania auctioneer Michael Fortna, and her fiance, will stand trial on charges of forgery, theft by unlawful taking and conspiracy. Tina M. Beach, 30, and Terry L. Rhoads Jr., 29, are accused of systematically appropriating more than $105,000 over a four-year period from the auction house where Beach was employed.

According to court records, Beach admitted writing checks to herself and Rhoads, as well as pocketing tenants’ rent payments that rightly should have been deposited into Fortna’s bank account, over a period  of time spanning from 2002 through 2005. The records further indicate that Beach told police she had spent the money on bills, food, Christmas gifts and car down payments, among other things.Both Beach and Rhoads remain free on their own recognizance. A court date has not yet been set.

Fortna Auctioneers has been selling real and personal property for more than 30 years, and maintains two Pennsylvania offices, in Annville and Harrisburg. The company’s principal, Michael Fortna, CAI, is a member of the National Auctioneers Association and the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association, and has won numerous state and national awards for his auctioneering skills and marketing expertise.