Police: Woman bilked Sheetz

A former Sheetz employee embezzled tens of thousands of dollars over a six-month span, Altoona police allege.

Catherine M. Josefik, 45, of Philipsburg is accused of a scheme in which she used Sheetz corporate software to transfer $45,307.75 to bank accounts she controlled, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Altoona police in late March.

Josefik was formerly the company’s credit and budgeting manager and worked out of the Sheetz Corporate Office at 5700 Sixth Ave.

Starting in January, Josefik used a fellow employee’s ID and password to log in to the system she used to make the illegal transfers, police noted.

Josefik allegedly would credit her personal checking account as well as accounts held by her husband and three people with disabilities, including two family members, that she controlled, with bogus refunds using debit card information.

Police said Josefik used the co-worker’s log in information to make 199 of the total 434 illegal transfers she’s alleged to have made between Sept. 4, 2012, and March 11, 2013.

Josefik allegedly would use ATMs to withdraw cash from the accounts which were illegally credited.

In some cases, Josefik also credited Visa debit cards that she could then use anywhere Visa is accepted, police added.

Police said at no customer information was compromised, and Sheetz Executive Vice President Lou Sheetz said it was strictly an internal theft that was discovered during a routine internal audit. Irregularities were noticed, Sheetz said, and it was looked at more closely.

“When we saw a crime had been committed, we turned it over to the police,” Sheetz said.

Josefik was questioned by Altoona police detectives on March 21 and admitted, in both a recorded verbal statement as well as in writing, to the scheme, police said.

“She is very embarrassed and very remorseful,” said Josefik’s State College attorney, Matthew McClenahen. “She is very ashamed of this and will pay back every cent to Sheetz.”

McClenahen pointed out Josefik was experiencing financial troubles stemming in large part from being out of work for a nine-month period before starting her job at Sheetz. Josefik, he said, is a certified public accountant who holds a master’s degree and is taking full responsibility for her actions.

“She did the wrong thing, and now she wants to do the right thing,” Josefik said.

Josefik is charged with felony theft, receiving stolen property, identity theft and access device fraud along with misdemeanor forgery and and tampering with records. She was arraigned Wednesday before Magisterial District Judge Todd Kelly and remains free on an unsecured $35,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is slated for Wednesday at Central Court in Altoona.