United Way Director Used Agency Money to Gamble

Heather Wolfe has been arrested on charges of Theft by Unlawful Taking, Theft by Deception, and Receiving Stolen Property, scamming the Armstrong County United Way out of $37,000.

A former Armstrong County United Way director has been arrested for stealing more than $37,000 from the agency.

Heather Marie Wolfe, 45, of North Buffalo Township, was hired as Director in March 2015.

According to District Attorney Scott Andreassi, the funds were pilfered to enable Wolfe to gamble at regional casinos.

“The investigation revealed that while serving as the Director, Wolfe fraudulently took funds from the organization without authorization,” Andreassi said in a prepared statement. “Some of those funds were paid directly to her  by check or by fraudulent overtime figures. In addition, it was revealed that Wolfe would frequent casinos, include The Rivers and Meadows, and would use Agency funds to gamble.”

Andreassi said the amount of the theft was arrived through an audit performed by the Agency. As part of the investigation, Andreassi said a forensic audit will be performed by his office, a practice typically followed in all “white collar” crime cases.

Andreassi commended Trooper Eric Maurer of the Pennsylvania State Police who led the investigation.

“It is unfortunate that once again we see a nonprofit in our community, an organization that does such good work, victimized by a once-trusted employee. I would encourage everyone to continue to support their good work in the months ahead.”

Wolfe was taken into custody and arraigned before Magisterial District Judge James Owen. Bond was set at $35,000 unsecured.

 

14 comments on “United Way Director Used Agency Money to Gamble
  1. futureconcerned says:

    The sentence for Bev Steffey was light because the DA only charges her with 6 crimes. Here is what Judge Valasek had to say: ” Valasek was unwavering as his stream of logic unfolded leading up to his verdict.

    “Some of that is situational. I mean I would be very depressed if I were in her position. There is a plea of guilty to six different counts. This really isn’t six crimes, though, this is probably closer to 600 crimes. This is not just an isolated incident where somebody’s judgement was temporarily askew. This was an ongoing, intentional, planned, design involving three organizations, one of which Mr. Andreassi said almost had to shut its doors because of the malevolent acts,” Valasek said.

    “I find that to sentence the defendant to anything other than total confinement would be an act on the part of the court that would completely depreciate this serious nature of this offense.”

  2. jd718 says:

    Flamingo is right. The DA’s success rate would be tied to the number of convictions and the judge sets the sentence.
    @ Cartman, Scott is being accused of politicking for doing all them photo-op’s.

  3. Flamingo1 says:

    Good grief. The DA does not set the sentence of convicted criminals. That is the purview of judges in the county. To be fair, Scott Andreassi had prosecuted these cases of white collar crime, but it is the judges who have given light sentences.

  4. Rat_Smeller says:

    Resident – I agree, this “Soft on Crime” that has entrenched itself in Armstrong County has got to end. As far as Arson cases though, its a different ball of wax. They are literally the hardest crimes to prosecute. First off, Arson cases in Armstrong County are investigated by the State Police Fire Marshall and I believe that they are out of Butler. Second, When it comes to Arson if you don’t have any kind of photo or video evidence that shows the perp lighting the fire you are pretty much out of luck because the fire itself and the subsequent firefighting efforts usually destroys any physical evidence that the perp. may have left behind. Third, it is extremely expensive to build a case on forensic evidence after a fire, tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars expensive. All of that equipment and those experts that you see on TV do not come cheap. If the fire results in a death or serious physical injury the fire marshalls will pursue it. If it is just the loss of a blighted property they are not going to waste their time and the taxpayers money if there is no conclusive photo or video evidence that is going to make prosecuting the crime a “Slam Dunk”. I don’t like it any more than you do, but it’s just the fact of the situation.

  5. concernedformykids says:

    To learn more on our “soft on crime” DA, you need only visit https://pennsylvania.arrests.org/index.php?county=600. Research a few names and their number of arrests for the same or very similar crimes. It’s unbelievable, in some cases its 8, 9, 10, or more times. Ol “Slap on Wrist Scotty” will know most of his clients by first name if he becomes Judge.

  6. suzkin33 says:

    Well if the last time we had a case like this is anything to go by, this lady will be out in about 1 – 2 months, if time is served at all. I do not have anything against our DA personally, but I do have a problem with plea bargaining anyone who steals from a non-profit. I don’t care what area that non-profit serves, it’s stealing from a group of people who trusted you. I’m sick of repeat offenders being left go. I’m sick of honest people paying the price for “my shopping addiction” or “gambling addiction”.

  7. Resident says:

    Sadly, Armstrong County is full of corrupt people like this. In West Kittanning there were several arson cases they didn’t even bother investigating.
    Two were vacant nuisances properties being complained about at council. One was ruled suspicious after someone threw something thru the window – no further investigation.
    One was ruled definite arson but wasn’t pursued ‘because the house was scheduled to be raised anyway at the end of the month.’
    This is like saying a murder isn’t going to be investigated because the victim was eventually going to die anyway. Doesn’t this type of stuff bother anyone else but me? This Wolfe person needs to go to prison for at least 2 years. What she has done as the director of a charity is horrible.
    Andressi won’t be getting my vote. I’ve seen too many people just recycled thru the system over and over. It seems the penalty for murder in Armstrong County is 5 years. It’s unreal.

  8. Rainbow Rider says:

    Worthingtonman, I agree.

  9. worthingtonman says:

    @ Cartman

    One measure of a judicial system being tough on crimes is the amount of jury trials held in a community. How many do we have here? Very few. Even the judges are refusing some of the plea bargains because they are ridiculous. The one trial I was going to serve on as a jury member was continued because the DA’s office and the state police did not have the proper paperwork finished. And the judge was none to happy to have to explain to us the incompetence of the DA’S office. Crime and drugs are running rampant through our streets. We need someone truly tough on crime. If Andressi gets elected judge these foolish plea bargains will be accepted. A measure of a good DA is support from law enforcement. Does Andressi have this? The folks I know in law enforcement do not have much respect for his soft on crime approach.

  10. cartman says:

    I fail to understand the contempt for Scott Andreassi. He has been a good, sensible DA, and would make a great judge. He is being accused of politicking for doing his job.

  11. worthingtonman says:

    What is up with these folks stealing from charities they work for? No doubt the part time DA, 10-2 Scottie will try to make himself look tough on crime. Maybe try to get Panchik to bite on misdeameanor plea again. Not gonna happen. I am still amazed that when Panchik nixed a plea bargain from Burglary to shop lifting, the DA just dropped the charges. The county will be dealt a great service by NOT making this soft on crime DA a judge, and replacing him with Katie Charlton as DA. It is time for a change.

  12. Watchingfromadistance says:

    Andressi is going to make an example of her. It’s an election year, and he is hustling votes, and trying to get his name out there. Sad thing is, his name is already out there, and he is too well known for going too easy on criminals. The public knows that, and it’s time for him to go.
    Don’t go around d flexing your muscles too hard Scott, we all know it’s nothing but a show!

  13. bigjohn says:

    United Way is one of the worst charities to donate to. They are too top heavy as far as employee compensation goes. Fraud and theft is rampant throughout the agency.

  14. jd718 says:

    Here we go again another White-Collar Crime in Armstrong County! Up to 7 years in prison? Never going to happen!

Leave a Reply