UNIONTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) — Antoinette Hodge, who served as Treasurer for the town of Uniontown, Fayette County, is being charged with allegedly stealing approximately $106,000 in taxpayer funds, according to the state Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.
According to an affidavit released Tuesday, Uniontown City officials alerted investigators to issues and discrepancies found regarding the city treasurer’s office. During the investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police determined that at least $106,750 was missing from city funds.
The funds represented city revenues from various sources, including city and school tax revenues, which were under the control of the City Treasurer’s Office.
State police say the evidence was presented to the 48th statewide investigative grand jury, which testified from multiple witnesses and recommended Hodge’s arrest.
The grand jury report says more than a dozen taxpayers have received warning notices despite paying taxes, mostly in cash. A forensic investigator interviewed Hodge and reported that she denied knowledge of missing May 2021 deposits, but that she claimed the July deposits were made a few days before their meeting.
The forensic investigator later testified that Hodge delivered the missing May and July 2021 deposits to the bank the day after they met.
Uniontown City’s assistant treasurer also noted that Hodge had taken several vacations since becoming treasurer, including trips to Jamaica, Costa Rica and Disney World. It was also reported that Hodge was planning a trip to Paris, buying lunches for office workers every day, and buying expensive lottery tickets to scratch off every day.
A supermarket manager testified that Hodge spent hundreds of dollars a day on lottery tickets and dexterity machines. It was also noted that Hodge allegedly had a history of gambling with thousands of dollars in losses.
Hodge, who was elected in 2019, testified before the grand jury that she only played “cheap” scratch cards and was “cheap”.
Hodge was charged with theft by wrongful expropriation, receipt of stolen property, theft by failure to dispose of monies received as required, misappropriation of entrusted property, obstruction of justice or another government function, and perjury.
Hodge was released on $75,000 bail, according to court records.
This case has been referred to the Attorney General’s Office of the Fayette County District Attorney’s Office. Charges were brought by the Pennsylvania State Police’s Western Organized Crime Unit. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Kara Rice.
https://www.abc27.com/pennsylvania/pennsylvania-city-treasurer-accused-of-stealing-over-100k-taking-trips/ The Pennsylvania City Treasurer is accused of stealing over $100,000 and making trips