Mother, daughter charged in Charleroi water authority check scam
A Charleroi mother and daughter are accused of accessing the borough water authority's bank account to pay personal cell phone and cable bills.
Wanetta P. Scagline, 52, and Samantha D. Scagline, 22, both of 916 McKean Ave., were arrested Wednesday by Charleroi Regional Police on theft charges.
Police believe the women were able to tap the Authority of the Borough of Charleroi's bank account by using information from a $1.55 authority refund check, according to criminal complaints filed with Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins in Charleroi.
Authority employee Tonya Roberts contacted Officer-in-Charge Eric Porter May 20 after she discovered several unauthorized transactions on the account. Ray Mosco of Charleroi Federal Savings Bank provided Roberts with a list of the alleged transactions.
In some cases, the Scaglines used false names.
The report states a person identified as Wanetta Tarpley used the account April 1 and 4 to pay $54 to Cricket and $163.27 to AT&T.
A person identified as James Tarpley paid $201.90 to Comcast April 7.
In addition, people identified as Samantha Schagrine paid $53.89 to Cricket April 14, and Cindy Threater paid $56.89 to Cricket May 16, according to the criminal complaints.
Roberts told police she believes the authority's account information was obtained after Samantha Scagline received the refund check Feb. 5, 2007.
Police said Wanetta Tarpley's real last name is Scagline, and her husband's name is James Tarpley.
Under questioning at the police station June 4, Wanetta Scagline initially denied involvement in the alleged scam. After Porter showed her copies of the bills that were paid, she admitted that she and her daughter used account numbers from the refund check to pay them, the complaint states.
Wanetta Scagline reportedly told police her husband was not aware of the transactions. James Tarpley was not charged.
The women were each charged with criminal conspiracy and theft by unlawful taking or disposition.
Each was arraigned Wednesday by Hopkins and sent to the Washington County Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 straight cash bond.
They face preliminary hearings before Hopkins 9 a.m. June 30.
Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at email@example.com.
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