The director of the Creative Minds Learning Center (CMLC) has been arrested and charged over accusations she stole over $800,000 from the business.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala announced the arrest of Sammi Jo Whittaker, 36, of Beechview Tuesday.
Whittaker was hired as a teacher at CMLC in Castle Shannon in 2012 and promoted to director in 2016. Zappala alleges she used her access to the organization’s bank account and credit card for personal expenses.
The theft was reported by CMLC’s owner in March, and the investigation was eventually referred to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.
Investigators claim Whittaker forged signatures on over 280 checks for her personal benefits and funneled funds from the organization to her personal accounts via PayPal.
Whittaker was charged with two counts of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, dealing in the proceeds of illegal activity, six counts of forgery, two counts of access device fraud, unlawful use of a computer, criminal attempt and misapplication of entrusted property.
She is awaiting a preliminary hearing.
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Elaine Hadley is a dedicated journalist covering the ever-evolving landscape of U.S. news. With a keen interest in politics and a commitment to uncovering the truth, she provides insightful commentary and in-depth analysis on domestic issues. When not reporting, Elaine enjoys exploring the diverse cultures and landscapes of the United States.