Two alleged credit card thieves to be tried

Posted: August 06, 2014

A FORMER longtime employee at the U.S. Department of Labor's Philadelphia office and a relative were held for trial yesterday on charges that they used credit cards to steal more than $4,100 in gasoline last year.

Municipal Judge Patrick Dugan ordered Rhonda Winston, 54, and Maleek Adams, 24, to stand trial on charges of forgery, conspiracy, theft by deception and related counts after a preliminary hearing.

The judge dropped a charge of possession of an instrument of crime that both defendants had faced.

Both are free on bail. Winston, a 29-year employee, worked in Labor's Employment and Training Administration, which is housed at the Curtis Center on Independence Mall. She was responsible for maintaining the credit cards, according to hearing testimony.

Winston is the grandmother of Adams' child, Assistant District Attorney Douglas Rhoads said.

Adams should never have been in possession of the cards, Rhoads said.

During the hearing, special agent Ninh Jang of the General Services Administration's Inspector General's Office and special agent Steve Rodeschin of Labor's Inspector General's Office testified that the credit cards were supposed to be used by Labor employees to pay for gas and service on department cars.

For several months last year, however, Adams was recorded on surveillance video using the credit cards at the same three Philadelphia service stations to gas up Winston's personal 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, the agents testified.

On Twitter: @MensahDean

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