Man Accused of Stealing Over $150K from Deceased Man’s Residence Waives Hearing

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – An area man waived his hearing on Friday on criminal charges for the theft of over $150,000.00 from the residence of a deceased man that he was hired to help clean.

Court documents indicate the following charges against 51-year-old Scott James Territo, of DuBois, were waived for court on Friday, October 30:

– Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Felony 2
– Receiving Stolen Property, Felony 2

The charges have been transferred to the Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas.

Territo remains free on $30,000.00 unsecured bail.

The charges stem from a theft investigating initiated earlier this year.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, around 1:00 p.m. on February 26, Reynoldsville Borough Police spoke to a private investigator about a theft that occurred at a residence Worth Street in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County.

The investigator told police the individual who formerly lived at the residence had passed away, and the individual’s family had hired Scott James Territo to clean out the residence. The investigator reported that while Territo was cleaning out the residence, he located a large amount of cash and reportedly kept $152,310.00 to himself at his residence in DuBois, the complaint indicates.

Tt was reported that Territo handed over change in the amount of $4,851.35, but didn’t provide all of the money he had found. The family was then contacted by a friend who advised she had reason to believe there was more money than what Territo had handed over. The family member then contacted Territo and told him there should have been more money than he provided in the residence, according to the complaint.

Territo then turned over $21,000.00 to the family member at an area bank. He reportedly told her he went back to the trailer and then found the money. When the family member stated she believed there was more money and said she was going to the police, Territo stated he “had a few more boxes to go through,” according to the complaint.

Territo then left and returned within 30 minutes with a bag that contained $99.840.00 in cash, and said he “found it in the bottom of a box.” Then when the family member confronted him again, saying there should still be more money, he stated he would ask two employees he had working with him if they took any money.

The following day, Territo returned to the bank with a bag containing $8,900.00 and said when he went to get into his truck in the morning, the bag was left in the truck by one of his employees, and he did not ask which one.

The complaint notes Territo later admitted that his initial story was not true and said he had the money, and his employees did not.

According to the complaint, the family member met with Territo again on October 30, at which time Territo admitted already spent some of the money and was uncertain how much. He then provided a list to the family member on November 13 and a second list on February 20, both listing items he spent money on, totaling $22,570.00.

The complaint states the total amount of money Territo took was $152,310.00.

After speaking to the investigator on February 26, police also interviewed Territo.

According to the complaint, Territo then admitted to taking the money and provided a written statement regarding his involvement in the theft.

Territo was interviewed a second time on June 16.

During the later interview, Territo told police he found a cooler in the living room of the residence that was “full” of 50 and 100 dollar bills, with some of the money in bank wrappers. He stated it was about $100,000.00, but couldn’t remember the exact total. He stated, “I didn’t mention anything to (the family member) about it. I guess I should have,” the complaint states.

Territo reportedly told police he took the money from the cooler, put it in a bag, and took it to his house, where he kept it. He reported he then found more paper money and an envelope and added it to what he’d previously kept. He also admitted that when the job was finished, and the family member asked him about the money, he lied before eventually returning some of the money, according to the complaint.

While he initially stated he didn’t know the exact amount of money he took, he eventually admitted he did count the money, and it totaled $142,000.00, the complaint continues.

The amount returned totaled $129.740.00, and the total Territo admitted to spending was $22,570.00, which comes to a total of $152,310.00, leaving a difference of $10,310.00 between what Territo believed he counted, and the actual amount of money accounted for, the complaint notes.

The complaint also states that of the $22,570.00 that was spent, Territo had, at the time the complaint was filed, paid the family member back $5,700.00, leaving $16,870.00 in restitution still owed.

Territo was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge David B. Inzana at 11:55 a.m. on August 27.

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