The live-in caretaker of a western Pennsylvania mansion is facing criminal charges for allegedly drinking more than $100,000 US worth of the owner's whisky.

Scottdale police have charged 62-year-old John Saunders with receiving stolen property and theft.

Police tell The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review the owner found nine cases of rye whisky hidden in the walls and stairwell of the century-old mansion built by industrialist J.P. Brennan. The whisky was bottled in 1912 by the nearby West Overton Distilling Co.

The mansion's owner, Patricia Hill, told local police that the nine original cases, about 102 bottles in total, were being stored in the living room. "I was told by [Brennan's] family that family members used to greet him at the door each day with a shot of whisky," Hill is quoted as saying in the local paper.

But Hill said she noticed after Saunders moved out of the mansion last March that four of the cases were empty.

Investigators say Saunders allegedly drank 52 bottles of whisky valued at $102,400 by a New York auction house.   "This whole experience has shocked me," Hill said. "I was shocked when I found them, shocked to find Mr. Saunders drank them, and shocked when I received the appraisal. I had just planned to preserve them."  

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week.