Monday, October 19, 2020

Schuylkill County Man Charged with Stealing Over $200,000 from His Mother

A man from Branch Township has been charged by Saint Clair Police after allegedly stealing over $200,000 from his mother.

According to Saint Clair Police , on August 25th, 2019, a woman and her son arrived at the police station to report that they believed her other son, Robert Smith, 50, of Elm Street, Pottsville, in Branch Township, had been misappropriating funds while acting as Power of Attorney of his mother's estate.

As of that date, they believe $56,000 was missing from her checking account.

An investigation by the Saint Clair Police with the help of a Certified Fraud Examiner and Forensic Account employed with Temple University, led to the finding that Smith had removed hundreds of thousands of dollars from his mother's bank accounts between July 2016 and August 2019 as well as opened credit cards in her name.  Smith also reportedly changed the address of all account statements and credit card billing to his address to conceal the transactions and purchases from his mother.

Investigators found and identified that Smith had made $201,545 in suspicious transactions during the 3 year period.

As a result of the investigation, Saint Clair Police charged Smith with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, theft by deception, access device fraud, and identify theft.

An arrest warrant was obtained Monday morning and Smith was later taken into custody at a home on Dock Street in Schuylkill Haven with the help of Schuylkill Haven Police.

Saint Clair Police Officer Drew Zebertavage walks
Smith into arraignment (Submitted)

Smith was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge David Plachko who locked him up in Schuylkill County Prison after he was unable to post $100,000 straight cash bail.

Smith was already out on bail previous to this arrest after being charged with stealing $50,000 from the Minersville Little League when he acted as treasurer of the organization.

Link to story from previous arrest involving the Minersville Little League

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