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Bank Employee Charged With Stealing $90K From Customer Accounts

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A former bank employee is facing charges after taking nearly $90,000 from elderly customers' accounts.

According to the criminal complaint, 51-year-old Lori Burleigh allegedly used the bank's computer systems to make unauthorized withdrawals and deposits.

Burleigh worked at the Progressive Home Federal Savings and Loan Association in the 3000-block of East Warrington Avenue in Beltzhoover.

In June, a customer called the bank to inquire about her account. After a different teller at the bank answered the phone, Burleigh allegedly tried to interrupt several times and eventually took the call in the basement.

The teller looked at the account and noticed some questionable transactions and alerted her supervisor. Officials at the bank called the victim who denied making some of the transactions.

Officials then spoke to Burleigh, who "broke out in hives" while discussing the account. She also said that she "could fix it."

At that time, Burleigh was suspended from the bank.

On the day of her suspension, her teller drawer was found to be $4,000 short. She claimed a man came in and made the withdrawal earlier in the day and that once the transaction had posted, the drawer would balance out.

Bank officials contacted the man, who also denied making the withdrawal. A few days later, Burleigh allegedly went to the man's house with $4,000.

Burleigh also allegedly went to the other victim's home and asked her to tell the bank that she had indeed made the transactions. As part of the deal she was trying to make, Burleigh offered to repay the money directly to the victim in the amount of $26,300.

At that time, Burleigh was fired from the bank.

Officials then looked into other accounts to try and find other accounts that Burleigh may have tampered with. It was determined that Burleigh tampered with five separate accounts and withdrew a total of $89,600.

"I could have never thought; its hard even now for me to believe that Lori would do that," said Parthenia Allen, one of the victims. "To know her, I guess I didn't know her, I thought I did. You would never think she'd do that; you just wouldn't. I didn't anyhow."

Police obtained Burleigh's bank records and found that $94,130 had been withdrawn at the Rivers Casino.

Casino records showed that Burleigh's Players Club Card had $350,000 of "cash-in" since it opened in 2009.

She is facing a list of charges including, theft by unlawful taking, access device fraud and forgery.


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