Woman Sentenced To 22 Months In Prison For Embezzling Funds From Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services Corporation
PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Claysville, Penn., has been sentenced in federal court to 22 months in prison on her conviction of theft from a program receiving federal funds, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry imposed the sentence yesterday on Cheri A. Logue, 42.
In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was informed that Logue embezzled funds from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services Corporation (SPLS) where she worked from October 2001 until June 2008. Among the various acts of embezzlement were the following:
- She drew checks to herself but recorded them in the books of SPLS as payments to legitimate creditors/suppliers (approximately 86 checks from December 2001 to June 2008 for a total of over $90,000);
- She made unauthorized withdrawals from SPLS accounts using the SPLS ATM card, typically at or near gambling locations (approximately 56 times for more than $12,000);
- She processed unauthorized electronic funds transfers to pay her own bills, typically credit cards (approximately 25 occasions for more than $14,000); and
- She made improper charges to the SPLS Visa card (more than 300 times for more than $72,000).
Prior to imposing sentence, Judge McVerry noted that Logue has a supportive fiancé, relatives, friends and family, an associate's degree, that she was currently employed and that her family had paid full restitution of approximately $195,000. He recognized that Logue claimed to suffer from stress from her employment to such an extent that she used gambling and the slot machines to cope with her stress from work. However, the court stated that no form of stress excused Logue's complex and multifaceted scheme to steal from her employer. The conduct involved almost daily acts of theft over a span of seven years, and involved various tactics to hide the it. The court noted although Logue and her family were suffering the results of going through the criminal justice system, that the true victims of this crime were the poor in Washington, Fayette, Greene and Somerset counties who are served by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services Corporation. The court told Logue that her conduct was reprehensible and that it warranted a sentence toward the upper end of the guidelines.
Assistant United States Attorney Nelson P. Cohen prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Office of Inspector General, Legal Services Corporation for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Cheri A. Logue.