Attorney Nichole Collins has been suspended by the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania after she was accused of breaking into her firm, stealing credit cards from fellow employees, and vandalizing equipment. She is facing charges that include burglary, forgery, access device fraud and theft by unlawful taking. It is remarkable that the Board views this as a suspension case as opposed to a disbarment case, but it could seek a more permanent action against Collins. Making this all the more awkward: she is married to Deputy District Attorney Joel Hogentogler.
In Harrisburg, Collins worked for the Shaffer & Engle Law Firm. Her situation began to unravel at the 2017 when the firm accountant noticed that there were a number of checks made out to “Cash” and signed by Collins. When confronted, Collins admitted to stealing the money and was fired on August 14, 2017. She was also barred from the premises.
However, in September 2017, police were notified about theft from its “cost account” which had been set up so that attorneys employed by the firm could pay for items such as filing fees and court reporters for cases.
On December 7, Engle contacted police saying that files from his office went missing, including the file he had put together on Collins and her criminal acts. Additionally, computer equipment and areas of the office were doused with a sticky substance. The damage to the property exceeded $3000. Finally, an employee reported that her bag was stolen with credit cards.
Police received a rather bizarre lead when the victim of the theft received an email on December 27 at 10:07 p.m. with a notification of a purchase for a $250 Seducer luxury rabbit vibrator and other sex toys using the stolen credit cards. The victim contacted her bank about the theft. The cards were used again at a Wendy’s the next day but rejected. Fortunately, the Wendy’s employee was quick enough to note details of the suspect’s appearance for police to look for a white female with blonde hair in her mid-thirties.
Collins graduated from Widener University Commonwealth Law School in 2009.