Pennsylvania prison warden's secretary charged with felony theft

Pennsylvania police are seeking felony theft charges against a prison secretary, whom they accuse of stealing more than $50,000 in the last five years. The money came from cash deposits that were supposed to be made on behalf of prison inmates, but were unaccounted for in the prison's books.

Pennsylvania State Police are alleging that the Bedford County Prison warden's secretary has stolen $50,060.68 in the years since 2008. The 64-year-old woman has been taken into custody on Aug. 30 and charged with felony theft, according to documents filed with the court. The police who interviewed the woman claim that she admitted to taking the money.

Usually, incoming prisoners would have their money deposited in a lock box at the prison. The funds in this lock box would then be deposited in the prison's account at First National Bank by the secretary for safekeeping during the inmate's incarceration. The prison warden, however, noticed that deposits were only being made in the form of checks and money orders, with no cash being deposited. Police allege that the secretary would take the money, and then reimburse the inmates who deposited cash using other funds that were in the account. Because of this, police are saying that the county itself was victimized, but that the inmates' deposited funds were unaffected.

Property theft crimes can carry with them serious penalties. The punishment is even more severe when it rises to the level of a felony. An attorney with experience defending those charged with theft crimes may be able to get these penalties reduced or eliminated, following a plea bargain or proper defense against the charges.

Source: Post Gazette, " Bedford warden's secretary takes more than $50,000, state police say", Lexi Belculfine, August 30, 2013

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