Gardners woman sentenced for stealing money from mentally disabled adults

2011-10-26T07:17:00Z 2011-10-26T14:42:48Z Gardners woman sentenced for stealing money from mentally disabled adultsBy Stephanie Weaver, Sentinel Reporter The Sentinel
October 26, 2011 7:17 am  • 

A Gardners woman who stole almost $30,000 from a program for mentally disabled adults is facing two separate cases in Cumberland County for the offense - one criminal and one civil.

The criminal case against Taunya Lynn George, 50, was settled Tuesday morning with Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas Judge Edward Guido ordering her to four years of supervised probation and 40 hours of community service.

George, who previously worked for the Human Achievement Program, a group home in Shiremanstown for mentally disabled adults, pleaded guilty to counts of theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception Aug. 18.

Jefferey Hare, the president of the Human Achievement Program, said George was entrusted with processing the accounts payable for the program and for overseeing the personal spending accounts of the residents.

Police said George stole more than $2,100 in cash that family members gave toward the spending accounts of five residents.

"She stole from the people we actually provide services to," Hare said. "I would ask that the consequences be appropriate for the actions."

Restitution dispute

Police said George also used three company credit cards for personal expenses, such as gas, charging about $27,000 to the program.

She racked up $23,327.43 in charges on one of the credit cards between November 2005 and January, 2011, according to court documents.

The Philadelphia Insurance Company helped cover the losses to the program, but Hare said he was responsible for paying back the money stolen from the residents' personal spending accounts.

George's defense attorney, Paul Orr, said a decent amount of the restitution owed to the insurance company is still being disputed.

The insurance company is suing George in civil court to collect the money paid to cover the losses.

Penalties

George worked for the Human Achievement Program for 21 years before Hare discovered the thefts.

"I would like to apologize to Jeff ... and the Human Achievement Program for what I did," George said Tuesday.

She is now working full time for Shari's Berries in Camp Hill, a business that makes decorative desserts with strawberries.

Guido sentenced George to 48 months of supervised probation for the theft by unlawful taking or disposition conviction. He also ordered George to pay $4,276.92 in restitution to the Human Achievement Program for the money stolen from the personal accounts and $1 to the Philadelphia Insurance Company.

George must also pay a $1,000 fine for the offense.

Guido ordered a 24-month supervised probation sentence for the second theft conviction but said that it would run concurrently to the first sentence.

The judge added 40 hours of community service to the second sentence.

"All right, now don't come back," Guido said to George.


Posted at 6:34 p.m. Tuesday on Cumberlink:

A Gardners woman who stole almost $30K from a program for mentally disabled adults is facing two separate cases in Cumberland County.

The criminal case against Taunya Lynn George was settled Tuesday morning with Judge Edward Guido ordering her to four years of supervised probation and 40 hours of community service.

George, who previously worked for the Human Achievement Program, a group home in Shiremanstown for mentally disabled adults, for 21 years, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft Aug. 18.

Jefferey Hare, the president of the Human Achievement Program, said George was responsible for the financial accounts of the program and for the individual residents' personal spending accounts.

Police said George stole more than $2,100 in cash that family members gave toward to the spending accounts of five adult residents.

She also used three different company credit cards for personal expenses, such as gas, charging about $27,000.

She charged $23,327.43 on to one of the credit cards between November 2005 to January, 2011, according to court documents.

George is now working for Shari's Berries, which makes decorative deserts with strawberries.

Guido also sentenced George to pay $4,276.92 in restitution to the Human Achievement Program.

She was also sentenced to pay $1 in restitution to the Philadelphia Insurance Company.

The insurance company is suing George in a civil court case in order to collect the money that was paid out to cover the losses she caused to the Human Achievement Program.

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