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N.Y. woman charged with theft from Fayette County

| Thursday, April 2, 2009

A New York woman is accused of electronically transferring about $1,400 from Fayette County's general fund.

Yaisha S. Hadley, 38, of New York City, accessed the online fund account at the county controller's office at 61 E. Main St. in Uniontown to make five unauthorized transactions without the office's knowledge or permission between Sept. 18, 2007, and Oct. 9, 2007, said Uniontown state police Trooper Thomas Broadwater.

An arrest warrant was issued yesterday for Hadley, Broadwater said.

"I think it's important that (county District Attorney Nancy Vernon) and my office set a tone on this," county Controller Sean Lally said yesterday evening. "I just want it to be shown that if you steal from Fayette County, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The transactions, which totaled $1,450.24, were observed and reported to state police for further investigation in March 2008, Broadwater said.

The investigation revealed that Hadley used the account to make payments with Con Edison, Sears, AT&T Cellular and Time Warner, Broadwater said.

Multiple charges, including five counts of access device fraud, theft by deception and receiving stolen property were filed yesterday at the office of former Uniontown District Judge Mark Blair, Broadwater said.

Hadley allegedly used a bank account linked to the county's general fund to make payments on her own personal accounts, according to Lally, who began his own investigation into the matter in January.

"I just entered the office's (online) routing number and its account number into the various sites where the payments were made, and all the information I was getting kept leading back to (Hadley)," Lally said. "It took a matter of probably two minutes."

Lally said he then contacted county Chief Detective Lawrence Curry, who then contacted Broadwater.

State police continue to investigate how Hadley accessed the online routing and account numbers, Lally said.

National City Bank refunded the money to the county, but Lally said he hopes Hadley meets swift justice if she's proven guilty of the alleged crimes, particularly because about $2 million was in the general fund account at the time.

"It could have been $1.6 million stolen," Lally said. "This is the first time this type of crime has occurred during my administration. I want to make sure it's the last."

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