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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 16, 2021

Pittsburgh Woman Sentenced to Prison for Bank Robbery Spree

PITTSBURGH, PA- A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 30 months’ imprisonment, and three years’ supervised release on her conviction for a series of bank robberies that occurred in West Mifflin, McCandless, and Penn Hills, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer imposed the sentence on Donna Poremski, 45, of Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood.

According to information presented to the court, Jasmine Parrish, a former employee of PNC bank, met her co-defendant, Donna Poremski, while the two worked together in the home-healthcare industry.

Parrish and Poremski conspired together to commit three bank robberies on June 23, 2018, September 6, 2018, and October 18, 2018.

During the first bank robbery, on June 23, 2018, Parrish and Poremski entered the PNC Bank, located in West Mifflin, and attempted to conceal their identities by dressing in traditional Middle Eastern attire, including wearing hijabs that covered their faces. Additionally, Parrish carried a cane and wore a surgical mask over her face with a tube that connected to an oxygen tank. The women approached the teller station and handed one of the tellers a note as well as threatened that they had a bomb. The Court also was informed that Poremski was observed on surveillance footage brandishing what appeared to be a firearm, and that the two women then directed the bank employees to empty their cash drawers and enter the bank vault where the bank employees were forced to put the money into the suitcase. The women stole $61,124.00 from this bank.

During the second bank robbery, on September 6, 2018, Poremski brandished what appeared to be a .9mm pistol and demanded money from the tellers. After obtaining the money from the teller’s cash drawer, Poremski directed the bank employees into the bank vault where the bank employees were forced to put money into Poremski’s bag. While the bank robbery was underway, Parrish was observed driving Poremski’s vehicle near the bank. Prior to the bank robbery, Parrish entered the bank to scope it out. The women stole $35,500.00 from this bank.

During the third bank robbery, on October 18, 2018, Poremski demanded money from the tellers and threatened to use a firearm but never brandished one. Parrish admitted that the women stole $350.00 from this bank.

A total of $97,004.00 was taken from the West Mifflin, McCandless and Penn Hills PNC banks, during these robberies for which Poremski and Parrish are both liable.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Fischer stated that Poremski’s offenses were “egregious”; but, that Poremski was not the “brains” of the operation between the two women and that her co-defendant took advantage of Poremski’s controlled substance addiction. Further, the Court deemed a variance appropriate in light of Poremski’s age, mental health, physical condition, difficult upbringing, employment record and post-offense rehabilitative efforts and her remorse.

Jasmine Parrish was previously sentenced to 40 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release.

Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Chung commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, West Mifflin Borough Police Department, the McCandless Police Department, the Penn Hills Police Department and the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Poremski.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated December 17, 2021