Beltzhoover woman charged with stealing $90,000 from savings & loan

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A woman arrested for stealing more than $90,000 from the bank where she worked spent nearly four times that much at the Rivers Casino in the last four years.

Lori Burleigh, 51, of Beltzhoover is charged with theft, access device fraud, forgery and unlawful use of a computer. She worked as a teller at Progressive Home Federal Savings & Loan on Warrington Avenue in Beltzhoover.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, another bank employee became suspicious when a customer called in June to ask questions about her account, and Ms. Burleigh insisted on taking the phone call in the basement of the bank.

The employee then checked the customer's account records and noted a withdrawal had been made on a date when she knew the customer hadn't been there.

She alerted her supervisor, and an investigation began.

Bank officials found that Ms. Burleigh's teller drawer was $4,000 short. When confronted about that, she claimed another customer had just withdrawn those funds, and the transaction had not yet been processed.

But according to the complaint, Ms. Burleigh, who worked at the bank for 18 years, showed up at that customer's home with $4,000 in cash and tried to give it to him.

The customer did not accept it and instead called the bank.

In addition, the complaint said that Ms. Burleigh also went to the first customer's home and "asked the customer if she would tell the bank that she actually withdrew the money if [Ms. Burleigh] agreed to repay the money directly to her."

After she was terminated, Ms. Burleigh contacted the bank's chief executive officer to ask if she could use the money from her 401(k) to repay the missing funds.

According to the affidavit, all of the suspicious withdrawals occurred between April 29, 2011, and May 6.

All of the accounts in question belonged to elderly customers.

Reviewing Ms. Burleigh's bank records at Progressive showed that between December 2010 and June of this year, approximately $110,000 in cash was deposited. During that same time, approximately $94,000 in cash was withdrawn at the Rivers Casino.

Records there, the complaint said, showed that Ms. Burleigh had spent $350,000 through her player's club card since the casino opened in 2009.

A preliminary hearing on the charges is scheduled for Aug. 21.

mobilehome - neigh_city - breaking

Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620. First Published August 7, 2013 2:30 PM


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