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Press Release

Former Accounting Coordinator for Non-Profit Organization Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More than $321K

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, PA - A resident of Pittsburgh, PA, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of bank fraud, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Danielle Strother-Rush, 34, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge David Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Strother-Rush was an Accounting Coordinator for the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council, which is a nonprofit organization that was created to increase business opportunities for minority-owned businesses. From approximately August 2014 until August 2016, Strother-Rush embezzled $321,255.88 in various ways. The primary way in which she embezzled funds was by writing checks to herself from the operating accounts and forging her supervisor’s signature on the checks. She also made unauthorized ATM withdrawals including several at the Rivers Casino. Lastly, she accessed the payroll bank account online and made unauthorized electronic checks payable to herself.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for July 15, 2021 at 1:00 P.M.. The law provides for a total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court permitted Strother-Rush to remain on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Lee J. Karl is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Strother-Rush.

Updated March 11, 2021

Financial Fraud