Police: Former teller stole $17K

TYRONE — A former teller faces charges she stole thousands from a Tyrone bank.

Bernadette R. Finochio, 28, of 511 51st St., Altoona, is accused of taking $17,870.50 from Citizens Bank in Tyrone between February and March, money she allegedly then tried to replace by withdrawing thousands from three customer accounts in late March.

According to charges filed by Tyrone police, a customer brought the thefts to light when he contacted the bank about a withdrawal from his checking account he didn’t make.

Police said the transaction was processed at the Tyrone branch by Finochio and that the discovery lead to more suspicious transactions.

Police allege Finochio tried to withdrawal $21,370.50 from an account on March 19, but it failed because of the bank’s transaction limits. She then took $8,500 from another account and a few minutes later withdrew $9,370.50 from the first account she had tried. A few minutes later, Finochio withdrew $3,520 from a third account.

Investigators noted she deposited that $3,530 back into the account the next afternoon in what police said was an attempt to conceal the activity.

Bank surveillance during the times of the withdrawals shows none of the customers associated with the accounts were in the bank.

Police added that from Dec. 10 until March 31, there were $22,994 in deposits to Finichio’s personal Citizens Bank account.

When questioned by a bank investigator on April 2, Finochio allegedly admitted that her drawer was short $21,000 between mid-February and late March.

She said her drawer was short because she was setting aside money in another drawer.

She allegedly admitted to taking that money and then withdrawing from the customers’ accounts in late March to try to cover the shortfall.

Finichio turned herself in to Tyrone police Friday and was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Fred Miller on multiple felony counts that include theft by deception, forgery and identify theft.

Finochio was released on an unsecured $75,000 bond with bail restrictions that include having to seek permission to leave the state.

A call to Finochio’s attorney Friday was not returned. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 27 in Tyrone.

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