Woman charged with stealing $300K from North Strabane couple
A Schulykill County woman was charged Monday by North Strabane Township police with theft and other offenses for allegedly using bank information of her former fiance’s parents to steal more than $320,000.
Aimee M. Schaffer, 39, of Orwigsburg, is accused of using the routing numbers and other account information to pay some of her bills and make online purchases between 2010 and earlier this year, when the alleged victims noticed the discrepancies. She is also accused of stealing a Rolex watch valued at $17,950 and selling it at a pawn shop near her home. Schaffer also faces charges of theft by deception, receiving stolen property, identity theft and unlawful use of a computer.
Detective John Wybranowski, who filed the charges against Schaffer, said the victims discovered the fraudulent transactions on their Huntingdon Bank account. Once discrepancies were discovered, the couple started looking back at transactions. They contacted a vendor listed on the transaction who verified that Schaffer had opened an account.
“All the transactions were done online or paid over the phone using the bank routing number,” Wybranowski said. “We were tasked with reviewing all the bank records and identifying the fraudulent transactions.”
Wybranowski said the husband had been handling the bills and thought the purchases were made by his wife. When she started handling the account, she noticed the fraudulent transactions.
Schaffer had been at their home in 2010. After her visit, the couple discovered the watch had been stolen and a briefcase where the bank information and checks were kept had been tampered with, the detective added.
Wybranowski said Schaffer realized she was in trouble when the bank started charging back to the vendors.
“She admitted that she went a little crazy,” Wybranowski said. “She was using their money to pay her own bills. She was also converting some of the merchandise to cash through the Yard Sale feature on Facebook.”
Some of the bills she paid included student loans, Verizon, DirecTV and credit cards. Schaffer told Wybranowski she was under the impression she could use some of their money to pay bills.
Charges will be sent by summons from the office of District Judge Jay Weller. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 26 before Weller.