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LATROBE (KDKA) – An 80-year-old Latrobe woman is accused of stealing more than $36,000 from a charity.
According to police, the money was taken from the St. Vincent de Paul Conference. The group helps to provide food, utilities and housing to those in need.
Eleanor Wallak, 80, is the former president of the St. Florian Church/St. Vincent de Paul Conference.
Wallak allegedly set up bank accounts for the Conference and was the sole person to have access to funds.
She is accused of stealing $36,107 from August of 2013 through October of 2016 while she headed the group.
KDKA’s Ross Guidotti: “Are you a thief?”
Wallak: “No, sir, I’m not a thief. I may be guilty of poor record keeping, but I’m not a thief.”
According to court records, using a debit card from a St Vincent DePaul Conference account, Wallak withdrew thousands of dollars from ATMs in the area, including $607 taken from an ATM inside the Trauger Volunteer Fire Department Social Hall, as well more than $600 from a cash machine at the Meadows Casino.
Police said she used the money to benefit herself and her family.
Investigators say her purchases included:
- Alcohol from beer distributors
- Pet supplies
- Hamburger Stuffer
- Personal and family members’ utility bills
Wallak is now facing felony theft charges. She remains free while awaiting her preliminary hearing.
Leadership St. Florian and the St. Bincent DePaul Conference declined comment on the alleged theft.