Charleroi woman gets jail for check scam
A Charleroi woman will spend at least six months in jail for tapping into the borough water authority's bank account to pay personal cell phone and cable bills.
Wanetta Scagline, 54, of 916 McKean Ave. also pleaded guilty in Washington County Court to taking an employee's paycheck from the mailbox at the Presbyterian Church of Charleroi last year.
Scagline pleaded guilty July 1 to charges of theft and conspiracy in each incident before Judge Gary Gilman.
On June 11, Charleroi Regional Police accused Scagline, and her daughter, Samantha D. Scagline, 22, of accessing the Authority of the Borough of Charleroi's bank account by using information from a $1.55 authority refund check.
An authority employee contacted police May 20 after discovering several unauthorized transactions on the agency's account at Charleroi Federal Savings Bank.
Police said the Scaglines used false names in some cases when accessing the agency's account April 1 and 4 to pay $54 to Cricket and $163.27 to AT&T. Payments were also made to Comcast, police said.
Police said Samantha Scagline received the refund check Feb. 5, 2007.
Under questioning at the police station June 4, Wanetta Scagline initially denied involvement in the scam. After police showed her copies of the bills that were paid, she admitted she and her daughter used account numbers from the refund check to pay them, the complaint states.
Gilman sentenced Wanetta Scagline to six months to 23 months in the Washington County Correctional Facility and ordered her to undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation.
After the sentencing hearing, Gilman released Scagline from jail and ordered her to return to the facility no later than 4 p.m. July 3.
As of late Tuesday, Scagline had yet to report to jail.
Samantha Scagline was scheduled to appear before Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins in Charleroi on Monday for a preliminary hearing on charges of criminal conspiracy and theft by unlawful taking or disposition.
Hopkins said he dismissed the charges after learning her mother had pleaded guilty and took full responsibility for the scam.
In a separate case, Wanetta Scagline pleaded guilty July 1 to theft for taking Presbyterian Church of Charleroi employee David Koschalk's paycheck Oct. 29.
Gilman sentenced her to six to 23 months in jail in that case and ordered her to pay restitution to the church.
The sentences in the two theft cases will run simultaneously.
Co-defendant Barbara J. Davis, 38, of Charleroi pleaded guilty Dec. 24 to receiving stolen property for signing and cashing Koschalk's $335.55 check. Davis was sentenced to 18 months probation.
Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.