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Woman Embezzled $100,000 from Bethlehem YMCA: Police

Apartment manager pocketed rent, security deposits, laundry room quarters and fraudulently applied for county grants in tenants' names, police say.

The Bethlehem YMCA
The Bethlehem YMCA

A woman who managed apartments for the Bethlehem YMCA stole more than $100,000 from the operation over three years on the job, police said.

Theresa M. Leguillow, 45, of 17 E. Susquehanna St., Allentown, was arrested Friday on numerous charges, including theft, forgery and tampering with public records—six felonies and 10 misdemeanors in all.

Leguillow was building manager for the YMCA’s Affordable Housing Division, which operates a 35-unit apartment building at the Y’s campus at 430 E. Broad St.

Leguillow allegedly failed to deposit more than $50,000 rent money that tenants had given to her into the division’s bank accounts, police said.

But she also employed a number of other tactics to steal, according to the affidavit, for example withholding security deposits that should have been returned. She even raided quarters used in the building’s laundry room, police said.

According to the affidavit, she also used the names of several tenants to apply for and receive emergency shelter grants from the Northampton County Department of Community and Economic Development.

In all, there was $9,365 in grant money received that would not have been necessary had Leguillow not withheld rent money tenants had paid her, police said. Leguillow also overcharged Catholic Charities more than $3,500 to “subsidize” tenant expenses, police said.

Leguillow’s scheme unraveled in August when a number of tenants began to complain after they received notices informing them of overdue rent balances, police said. Many of them were able to produce receipts that had been signed by Leguillow, who started working at the job in July 2010.

Northampton County Controller Stephen Barron, a certified forensic accountant, then began to examine records from the Y’s Affordable Housing Division and discovered that more than $103,643 was missing, police said.

In addition to not depositing $54,000 in rent that had been recorded in YMCA accounting software, Leguillow also failed to record nearly $17,000 in rent payments for which she had given a tenant a handwritten receipt, police said. The amount of money kept from security deposits was nearly $10,000, police said.

All of the alleged fraud on county emergency shelter grants occurred this year, police said. On a number of occasions, Leguillow would use a tenant's name and concoct a story about owing the Y back rent or security deposit money, police said.

In one particular case, she had one tenant telling the county that she had trouble keeping a job. But the woman had been employed at the same job since April 2010, police said.

Leguillow was arraigned before District Judge Roy Manwaring of Bethlehem and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

There has been an epidemic of alleged embezzlement or embezzlement-like theft in Bethlehem over the past couple of years:

  • In October, Christoper E. Dollak, 32, of 932 Evans St., the husband of the North Central Little League Treasurer, was charged with stealing $36,000—over time—from deposit bags to support a drug habit.
  • In September, city police reported that they are investigating the theft of more than $46,000 from the city office of the Lehigh Valley Drug and Alcohol Intake Unit, a bi-county agency that provides drug and alcohol addiction treatment services.
  • In January, Bradley H. Scheetz, the former president of the Bethlehem Steelers youth football association, was charged with embezzling more than $34,000 of the organization’s funds between April 2011 and October 2012.

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