Local Woman Facing Forgery Charges

BROCKWAY BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – A local woman is facing charges after she allegedly stole and forged checks from her mother.

Court documents indicate the Brockway Borough Police Department filed criminal charges against 57-year-old Carol A. Paruso, of DuBois.

According to a criminal complaint, on June 4, 2018, a known woman and her daughter arrived at the Brockway Borough Police Department, where the daughter reported that her mother’s account is missing money and stated it was her sister, Carol Paruso, that was taking money from the account.

The victim provided copies of bank statements showing that Paruso wrote several checks to herself and indicated she wanted to file charges because “I never gave her permission to take my money,” according to the complaint.

The victim’s daughter also stated the signatures were forged and pointed out that the victim does not put her middle initial when signing checks as well as another difference in the signatures.

The complaint notes the checks in question were as follows:

– Check #466 on 1/23/18 made out to Carol Paruso for $80.00
– Check #471 on 2/13/18 made out to Carol Paruso for $100.00
– Check #473 on 3/8/18 made out to Carol Paruso for $60.00
– Check #474 on 3/12/18 made out to Carol Paruso for $50.00
– Check #475 on 3/13/18 made out to Carol Paruso for $80.00
– Check #479 on 3/23/18 made out to Carol Paruso for $60.00
– Check #482 on 4/10/18 made out to Carol Paruso for $125.00
– Check #487 on 4/14/18 made out to Carol Paruso for $100.00
– Check #491 on 4/19/18 made out to Carol Paruso for $60.00
– Check #492 on 4/19/18 made out to Carol Paruso for $100.00
– Check #488 on 4/27/18 made out to Carol Paruso for $100.00

The total loss of the victim was $935.00.

Officer Stutsman of the Brockway Borough Police interviewed Paruso on January 15, 2019.

According to the complaint, Paruso stated the victim would ask to borrow money on occasion and also said that”she would give me a check and have me write it out”. Paruso admitted to signing the victim’s name on the checks and stated she would use the check at various stores to get groceries and other items for the victim or the family in general. She admitted to taking the checks and forging the signature on them but stated it was only with permission that she did so.

The complaint notes that when Officer Stutsman advised the checks in question were cashed and not used at a grocery store, Paruso changed her account and stated that she would cash the checks and use the money for groceries. She also admitted that a couple of the checks “bounced” for insufficient funds.

Officer Stutsman then followed up with the victim on March 12, 2019.

According to the complaint, the victim stated she did not give Paruso permission to use her checks, except on occasion she would give Paruso a check to buy groceries, in which case the check would be scanned and filled out by the grocery store. The victim stated Paruso never had permission to sign her name to any documents, including check, and also stated she had never borrowed money from Paruso.

The victim reported she was notified of the forged checks by her credit union and noticed they were signed with her middle initial included, which she never does. She also said she had noticed some checks missing from her checkbook, but thought she may have used them for bills and forgotten.

Officer Stutsman gave Paruso an opportunity to take a polygraph examination, scheduling an exam and confirming it with Paruso, but Paruso did not show up to the exam and would not answer further phone calls.

The complaint notes that Officer Stutsman followed up with the victim who advised that Paruso had contacted her several times since the beginning of the investigation and begged her to drop the charges. She also reported Paruso had made vague threats toward Officer Stutsman, saying “He better just drop it and quit harassing me.”

Based on the investigation, the following charges were filed through Magisterial District Judge David B. Inzana’s office on Wednesday, April 24:

– Forgery – Unauthorized Act in Writing, Felony 2 (12 counts)
– Theft by Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Misdemeanor 1

A certified summons was issued on Thursday, April 25.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 29, with Judge Inzana presiding.

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