Search warrant says more than $37,000 missing from fund for SCI Dallas employees

Last updated: April 12. 2014 12:59AM - 3531 Views
By - elewis@timesleader.com

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KINGSTON TWP. — In excess of $37,100 is missing from a charitable account held at the Pennsylvania State Employee Credit Union for employees at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, according to a search warrant affidavit.

A fraud examiner with the state Department of Corrections filed the search warrant for bank records belonging to Stasia Lanning, 37, seeking account statements, loan applications, deposits and withdrawals from the P&G Mehoopany Federal Credit Union in Dallas.

Lanning, of Hunlock Township, was suspended from her clerical supervisor position at SCI-Dallas earlier this year. She was president and treasurer of the SCI-Dallas Employees’ Association, which receives funds from vending machine sales inside the prison and various fundraisers to support prison employees and their families.

Funds are used for children’s Easter egg hunts, Christmas parties, ice cream socials and employee night outs.

No charges have been filed as the investigation is continuing.

Lanning could not be reached for comment on Friday, when the search warrant was filed in the Luzerne County Clerks’ of Courts Office.

According to the affidavit:

An initial review of the charitable account by SCI-Dallas Business Manager David Popek revealed a shortage of about $8,000.

Lanning was interviewed providing a written statement: “Sad to say I failed to keep accurate records of transactions … I cannot account and/or remember various deductions throughout 2013. When issued the debit/Visa card the card wouldn’t work various locations & cash withdrawals would be taken.”

A fraud examiner obtained bank records of the charitable employees association from PSECU that allegedly shows unaccounted funds far exceed $37,100.

Lanning projected expenses for ice cream was $1,200 annually for three years but records from SCI-Dallas indicate the employees association never reimbursed the prison in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Lanning also projected expenses for the children’s Christmas party was $1,000 when receipts show $110 was spent for the party, the affidavit says.

The affidavit says Lanning “had complete access and control over the employee association’s accounts,” and prohibited anyone from accessing bank statements, treasurer’s reports and deposit information.

Newly elected officers of the employee association were told by Lanning, “You don’t need to tell anyone anything about the funds,” according to the affidavit.

Lanning’s credit report, the affidavit says, indicates she has been in arrears on nine personal accounts, including being late three times paying her mortgage at M&T Bank.

A review of Lanning’s record of direct deposits for her prison salary indicates she has held accounts at PNC Bank, P&G Mehoopany Federal Credit Union and the PSECU.

It was not immediately known on Friday if a search warrant was filed for Lanning’s bank records at PNC Bank.

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