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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Former DRWC Bookkeeper Charged With Stealing $2.6 Million

The defendant faces charges of fraud and aggravated identity theft

PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Angela DiPietro-Sabatine, 57, of Pennsauken, NJ, was arrested and charged by Indictment with ten counts of wire fraud, one count of bank fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting, all stemming from her alleged theft of more than $2.6 million dollars from her former employer, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC). DRWC is non-profit, quasi-governmental entity whose mission is to design, develop, and manage the central Delaware River waterfront from Oregon to Allegheny Avenues for the benefit of Philadelphia residents.

According to the Indictment, when the defendant was employed at DRWC as the Accounting Administrator, her duties included managing the accounts payable and receivable, bank reconciliations, and general ledger work. The Indictment alleges that the defendant used the non-profit’s computerized accounting software, located in its offices in Philadelphia, to create false expense items for legitimate vendors of DRWC – invoicing services that were never rendered. DiPietro-Sabatine then generated DRWC checks for these false expense items, manipulated the computerized accounting software to change the payee on the check from the legitimate vendor to herself, and forged the signatures of DRWC’s authorized signatories, the President and Vice President, on these unauthorized checks made payable to herself. It is alleged that the defendant then spent the stolen proceeds on personal expenses, including gambling and luxury vacations. The Indictment alleges that this scheme occurred over the course of at least seven years, resulting in the theft of more than $2.6 million from DRWC.

“The alleged conduct in this case shows a pattern of deception and dishonesty that went on for the better part of a decade,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “Organizations must be able to rely on the honesty of employees who handle money, and this is especially important when the entity has a mission meant to benefit the public. As alleged, DiPietro-Sabatine went to great lengths to hide her criminal conduct from her employer; our Office thanks DRWC for coming forward and cooperating fully with the investigation so we can hold this defendant responsible for her actions.”

“The FBI is committed to tracking down those who abuse their positions of trust for personal gain,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division.  “Embezzlement from non-profits like DRWC erodes citizens' faith in their leaders, and bringing those engaging in economic crimes to justice will continue to be one of the FBI’s top criminal investigative priorities.   Today’s indictment sends the message that the FBI will work tirelessly to protect non-profits and other government entities from fraud, waste and abuse.”

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 230 years in prison, a six year mandatory minimum sentence, a $4,250,000 fine, and restitution of more than $2.6 million.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Katherine E. Driscoll.

An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Contact: 
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA 615 Chestnut Street, Suite 1250 Philadelphia, PA 19106 JENNIFER CRANDALL Media Contact 215-861-8300 If you have not done so already, follow @USAO_EDPA and @USAttyWilliams on Twitter to get the most up-to-date information about big cases and community news.
Updated April 27, 2021