Latrobe woman, 80, charged with theft of $36,000 in charity funds
An 80-year-old Latrobe woman is accused of stealing more than $36,000 over a three-year period from a St. Vincent de Paul charity account set up to help the needy.
State police on Tuesday charged Eleanor Wallak, 80, of Latrobe with one count of theft by unlawful taking, alleging that she set bank accounts for the St. Vincent de Paul Conference at St. Florian Church in United.
A “conference” is a group of volunteers “who work as a team to provide concrete aid and comfort to their neighbors in need,” according to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Council of Pittsburgh's website.
Wallak had sole access to the funds, according to a criminal complaint.
“The accused stole/misused the funds for her own benefit or the benefit of her family,” the complaint reads. Wallak allegedly took money by way of ATM withdrawals, bank transfers, online purchases and point-of-sale-purchases, totaling $36,107.
The Rev. John Sedlak, pastor at St. Florian, said he had no comment on the charges.
An attorney for Wallak is not listed in court documents, and she could not be reached for comment.
A preliminary hearing date has not been set.