Lehigh Valley

Woman charged with stealing over $13,000 from company

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, Pa. - An arrest warrant has been issued for a Whitehall-area woman accused of making unauthorized charges on her employee's credit card and transfers from her former company's checking account.

The investigation began in July, when an employee of The Pritchard Company -- a dry wall contractor in Northampton County -- reported to police that an ex-employee made unauthorized purchases using her Bank of America credit card. 

Employee Gloria Snover spoke with police from Lehigh Township, where she said former employee Maria Sage not only charged her credit card, but used checks from the Pritchard Company's Wells Fargo account to pay off a monthly balance on a Capital One credit card belonging to Snover's brother, Jerry Pritchard Jr., who also works for the company.

Snover also said Sage made unauthorized charges on her brother's credit card. 

Snover provided officers with statements from Bank of America, the Wells Fargo checking account and Pritchard's Capital One credit card.

When police interviewed Pritchard, he said he gave Sage the Capital One credit card and asked her to handle the balance transfer to another card with a low interest rate. Pritchard said he was out of state when Sage made the unauthorized purchases. 

Pritchard said he never gave Sage permission to use the card for purchases. He also said he never told Sage to make payments to his Capital One card using funds from the Pritchard Company. 

In another interview with Gloria Snover, she spoke of messages she received from Sage, in which Sage admitted to the access device fraud and thefts. 

Based on the credit card and bank statements, Detective Matthew Enstrom from Lehigh Township Police Department found that Sage made unauthorized charges with Snover's  Bank of America card from March to June totaling over $5,000. 

Enstrom also determined the payments to Capital One from the company's Wells Fargo account happened between April and July, totaling almost $14,000. The payment on July 6 in the amount of $3,900 was stopped by Snover after Sage tried to make a payment. 

Detective Enstrom furthered his investigation and obtained video surveillance and copies of transactions from retail establishments based on credit card statements. He obtained copies of accounts where Sage made payments to pay on personal loans, cell phone bills and utility payments. 

Around $4,400 in charges were found to be made on Pritchard's Capital One credit card.

Sage is charged with eight felony counts, some of which include theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.

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