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Register of Wills deputy chief surrenders on theft charges

On Friday, Jan 18, Christine M. Trout (DOB: 06/20/1960) of Glenolden, Pennsylvania, surrendered on charges filed by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office. A three-month long investigation conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division’s Economic Crimes Unit revealed that Trout allegedly stole more than $160,000 over a period of approximately five years as chief deputy to the Delaware County Register of Wills.

In November 2012, it was discovered by an internal audit conducted within the Register of Wills that Trout was possibly stealing cash from payments made to the Register of Wills. A financial analysis was then conducted by the Delaware County Investigation Division which revealed that Trout has been stealing cash from the Register of Wills since January 2007. Trout admitted to the theft through a statement to detectives.

Trout stole cash in two specific ways. She would remove cash from files at the end of the work day, after she collected the finished work of subordinate employees, or the following morning when she conducted the banking for the Register of Wills and would alter the transaction report to disguise her actions. She also would void completed transactions, take cash that had paid for those transactions, and adjust reports so there would be no record of the theft.

“It is unfortunate when government workers, or anyone serving the public for that matter, breach the trust instilled in them by the people for their own selfish gain. Those who do so will be held strictly accountable,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan. “Our Economic Crime Unit is dedicated to thoroughly investigating all matters of theft and fraud. I want to commend Chief Joseph Ryan and Lt. Detective Charles List, Detective William Wright and Detective Matthew Cresta along with CID analysts Monica Van Horn and Zach Knight for their exemplary work on this complicated case which took a great amount of time and effort.”

Trout is charged with multiple counts of theft, all felonies of the third degree.

The Delaware County District Attorney’s Economic Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Division investigates Financial Crimes including Corporate Embezzlement, Identity Theft, Forgery, Bank Fraud, Contractor Fraud, Internet Fraud and Insurance Fraud.