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Fayette County recycling firm sues ex-employee

| Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 11:00 p.m.

A glass recycling company has filed a civil lawsuit accusing a former employee and three others in the theft of $1.6 million from the company.

CAP Glass, which has its corporate headquarters in Dunbar Township and a recycling facility in Connellsville, filed the civil action on Wednesday in Fayette County against Lisa and John Cavanaugh and Tammy and Robert Coffman, all of Bullskin Township.

Neither couple, both of whom the lawsuit indicates are husband and wife, could be reached for comment. The lawsuit, filed through the Pittsburgh law firm of Blumling & Gusky, accuses the four of theft, fraudulent concealment of theft and conversion.

No criminal charges have been filed, but the incident is under investigation, said District Attorney Jack Heneks.

In the civil complaint, CAP Glass alleges Lisa Cavanaugh was an in-house accountant from 2007 through March 2013 who kept copies of keys to the office when her employment ended.

The company contends that from the start of her employment through March 2014, Lisa Cavanaugh, with the help of Tammy Coffman, went into the company's office after hours and issued 276 unauthorized checks totaling $1.6 million on Glass' accounts to various people and business entities.

Lisa Cavanaugh endorsed the checks with a stamp bearing the signature of the company's president, Shawn Pilla, the complaint alleges.

Some of the checks were issued to a Tammy Keefer, which the complaint alleges is an alias for Tammy Coffman. Other checks were issued to the Coffmans' business, Coffman Transportation.

Coffman Transportation was a vendor with CAP Glass, the complaint states, but some of the checks it received were for amounts in excess of services it had provided, the lawsuit alleges.

In exchange for issuing the checks to the Coffmans, “the Coffmans provided Cavanaugh and her husband, John Cavanaugh, with cash payments or other kickbacks from the funds derived from the unauthorized checks,” the lawsuit alleges.

Lisa Cavanaugh concealed the unauthorized checks by creating entries in the company's check register showing the payments went to other vendors that did business with CAP Glass, the lawsuit alleges.

“If one were to view CAP Glass' payment records, it would appear as if the unauthorized, after-business hours payments to Mrs. Coffman and Coffman Transport were regular and ordinary payments made to CAP Glass vendors,” the lawsuit states. “In this manner, Mrs. Cavanaugh created fictitious entries to fraudulently conceal or ‘bury' the unauthorized payments within CAP Glass' usual and customary transactions. Due to this concealment, CAP Glass could not reasonably discover the theft of its funds and the Coffmans' and Cavanaughs' conversion of its property.”

CAP Glass is seeking a civil judgment in excess of $50,000.

Liz Zemba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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