State police charge 3 in elaborate gas-for-cash scheme
By Amanda Dolasinski
Published: Saturday, June 29, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
An elaborate plot to exchange cash for gasoline at a discounted rate on a stolen credit card was thwarted when the credit card owner noticed an exorbitant amount of charges, police said.
State police have identified three people facing theft charges in the scam — Vicki J. Stadterman, 50, of Spring Street, Yukon; Richard Paul Woloshun, 28, of Williams Lane, North Huntingdon; and Joseph Paul Babilya, 22, of East Main Street, West Newton.
Babilya is in Allegheny County Prison for unrelated charges. Stadterman and Woloshun were arraigned and released on $10,000 unsecured bond.
Telephone numbers for Stadterman and Woloshun are not listed. Their attorneys are not yet listed in online court records.
Over a one-year period, the trio rang up $55,266.28 worth of gasoline on a stolen Sunoco Fleet credit card at 11 Sunoco stations throughout the region, state police spokesman Steve Limani said.
They allegedly approached people at the pumps and said they had won the card, but preferred cash.
They would offer to pay for gasoline on the card and ask for only half of the total in cash from the driver, Limani said.
It started when Woloshun found the card when he was employed with D&A Auto Auction in New Stanton and cleaning out a car for sale in March 2011, according to an affidavit of probable cause. A telephone number for the auction company has been disconnected.
Woloshun told police he then used the card until October 2011, when he traded the card to Babilya for several stamp bags of heroin, according to the affidavit.
“Unfortunately, most of our property crimes have a tendency to lead toward drugs and things of that nature,” Limani said. “This one isn't any exception.”
In February 2012, Woloshun allegedly sold the card to Stadterman for $500 or $600, according to the affidavit.
It is unclear how Woloshun regained the card from Babilya and sold it to Stadterman.
Police said attempts were made to interview Babilya, who was incarcerated, but he refused.
Stadterman told police she had the card for about three months and used it herself and let others use it in exchange for cash.
At first, Stadterman told police that she had no idea the card was stolen.
She later admitted, “I probably should have known not to take a card from Richard because he has a bad reputation,” according to the affidavit.
A loss-prevention investigator for Sunoco detected the scheme and contacted state police in June 2012.
All three suspects are charged with theft by deception, access-device fraud and criminal conspiracy.
Preliminary hearings for Stadterman and Woloshun have been set for Tuesday before Youngwood District Judge James Falcon. A preliminary hearing for Babilya has not been set.
Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- County takes lead on Monsour demolition
- Workers injured at facility for youths
- Ex-employees to split $9,176 in pension mess
- Goats may be answer for overgrown sign outside Murrysville
- Probation officer testifies client’s calls scared her
- Fire displaces families in Irwin
- Westmoreland Manor manager gets 3-month extension
- New Stanton plots light-up night for next year
- Grant to fund sewer system at Westinghouse site
- Commissioners OK reassessment option
- Scottdale children invited to decorate the town’s Christmas tree