Lori Burleigh (Photo: Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office)
by Joe Mandak
Associated Press Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) – A teller at a city savings and loan allegedly stole more than $90,000 from elderly customers’ accounts and apparently spent much of the money at a casino, the Allegheny County District Attorney said.
Online court records don’t list an attorney for Lori Burleigh, 51, of Pittsburgh, who surrendered Wednesday on theft and related charges. She has since been fired from Progressive Home Federal Savings & Loan.
According to a criminal complaint, officials at the savings and loan first became suspicious when a customer called with questions about her account in June, and Burleigh insisted on taking the call in the thrift’s basement. The savings and loan is small enough that tellers like Burleigh, then an 18-year employee, get to know customers well, bank officials told investigators.
That prompted bank officials to investigate, and they later found $4,000 missing from Burleigh’s teller drawer.
Burleigh allegedly told supervisors a customer had just withdrawn the money and that she hadn’t processed the transaction yet. Burleigh later went to the customer’s home and tried to get him to accept $4,000, but he refused to accept the money and called the bank to report the bizarre incident, a criminal complaint said.
Bank officials and later county detectives reviewed bank records and determined Burleigh had made more than $90,000 in suspicious withdrawals, all of them from elderly customers, between April 2011 and May 2013.
Meanwhile, Burleigh’s account records at the savings and loan showed she deposited about $110,000 in cash between December 2010 and June, and withdrew $94,000 during that same time frame at the Rivers Casino. Casino records show Burleigh had spent more than $350,000 at the casino using her player’s club card since it opened in 2009.
Burleigh was arraigned Wednesday and allowed to remain free pending a preliminary hearing Aug. 21. She did not immediately return a phone call to her home.