3 FirstKeystone Bank employees face theft charges

Posted: January 12, 2010

It may be a new decade, but some things never change in Delaware County - including the inability of certain county residents to keep their hands off OPM.

That's "other people's money," as disgraced former state Sen. Vince Fumo would say, and it's still a fan favorite in Delco.

Last year, county judges were busy sentencing big-money swindlers, like the globe-trotting executive who blew nearly $400,000 in ill-gotten gains on fine wine and cigars, and that nice old lady Betty who quietly took her boss for $900,000.

Eleven days into 2010, Delaware County District Attorney G. Michael Green announced the first major embezzlement case of the year.

Three employees of First Keystone Bank in Swarthmore were charged yesterday with theft, receiving stolen property and other felonies for allegedly pocketing about $100,000 in bank funds.

They also nickel-and-dimed borough taxpayers out of an estimated $20,000 by allegedly stealing parking meter coins that were deposited at the bank.

Head bank teller Jean Marie Moronese, 31, and tellers Tyneesha Richardson, 29, and Kelly Barksdale, 27, declined to comment as they were led from the Media courthouse with hoods pulled down to cover their faces.

The trio literally used the bank's ATM as their own personal ATM, referring to it as a "friend" who was always willing to lend them money, according to the criminal complaint.

Green said they spent the cash on everything from car and rent payments to day-care expenses and office lunches. But Moronese, whom he described as the ringleader of the conspiracy, also told authorities that she eventually "got greedy" and took the money "just to spend it," he said.

"These defendants, by way of a relatively low-tech and uncomplicated scheme, were able to bilk First Keystone Bank and Swarthmore Borough - and importantly, the taxpayers of Swarthmore - out of a significant amount of money," Green said. "Although the bank had procedures in place to prevent this type of fraud, those procedures were apparently not followed."

Moronese, of Folcroft, allegedly falsified ATM computer records and paperwork to cover up the withdrawals. Green said Barksdale, of Upper Chichester, and Richardson, of Chester, went along with the scheme.

"Once you get into the polluted pool, you're covered with the same pollution, and these two jumped in with her," Green said. "The lesson is, you can either be a witness or you can be a defendant."

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