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Former bank manager charged with stealing $439k from elderly, deceased

DATE:  June 17, 2015
CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris, 610.891.4163

Media, Pa – Today Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan announced that a former Iron Workers bank employee is facing multiple felony charges for stealing more than $430,000 over a ten-year period from elderly bank customers and from the estates of the deceased. The announcement comes at the conclusion of a three-month-long investigation conducted by Det. Michele Deery of the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Economic Crime Unit with assistance from Iron Workers Bank.

Catherine Allman, 60, of the 500 block of Walnut Lane in Philadelphia, is charged with theft by unlawful taking or disposition, receiving stolen property, forgery-unauthorized act in writing, theft by deception, criminal use of communication facility, identity theft, and other theft related charges.

The theft was discovered in Sept. 2014, when the branch manager of the Iron Workers Bank in Chadds Ford was contacted by an attorney regarding unusual activity involving the estate of one of their members who was deceased. A transaction occurred on the deceased victim’s account in August of 2014, after she had passed away in July of 2014. After further investigation by the branch manager, she noticed that the customer’s address had been changed to a P.O. BOX in Aston. She recognized the P.O. BOX address as the same address as one of their long-time employees, Catherine Allman who was the branch manager at the Aston location. She notified the vice president of Iron Workers Bank, who immediately began investigating the matter by pulling the involved accounts. However, before he could speak with Allman, she left for the day, telling her co-workers that she needed to go switch out a car at her mother’s house. She never returned.  On Sept. 18, 2014, the vice president contacted Allman on the phone, who admitted to taking the money from customers’ accounts. When asked how long she had been stealing, she told him “since June” without specifying a year.

As a result of the investigation conducted by Det. Michele Deery of the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Economic Crime Unit, it was discovered that Allman’s relative and mother had an account at Iron Workers Bank, and that Allman was the signatory on her mother’s account. Allman would transfer monies to these accounts and then make withdrawals. Through the investigation, it was determined that the theft started in Jan. 2004 and continued until the summer of 2014 when Allman was confronted.  Allman stole money from eight different Iron Worker bank account holders, all elderly women, half of which are deceased.  After obtaining a search warrant for Allman’s Wells Fargo bank account, Det. Deery discovered that Allman made numerous cash deposits into the account, around the same time the cash withdrawals were taken from the eight victims’ Iron Workers Bank accounts, all without their permission. In total, she made $439,019.17 in unauthorized withdrawals from victims’ accounts.

“Ms. Allman knowingly and fraudulently stole from elderly, vulnerable customers, siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars into her personal account for her own selfish gain. She took advantage of her position of authority and her employer’s trust and she will be held accountable for her actions,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan. “I want to commend Det. Michele Deery for her exemplary work on this complicated case and thank Iron Workers Bank for promptly reporting the theft and assisting us with the investigation. Our Economic Crime Unit is dedicated to guarding local businesses against fraud and thoroughly investigating all matters of theft.”

On June 15 Catherine Allman came to the Criminal Investigation Unit in the District Attorney’s Office with her attorney.  Allman was read her rights and admitted to the theft in its entirety. Allman was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Deborah Krull who set bail at $100,000 unsecured. The preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 1.

Assistant District Attorney Brian Doherty will be prosecuting the case.