Chairwoman Of PA Ambulance Company Admits Theft

Investigation uncovered receipts for thousands of dollars Tafner spent at Lowes and QVC.


KENA VERNON, WNEP | | Tuesday, January 11, 2011


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Chairwoman Admits Theft

Ambulance company lost $1M.
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A former school principal could face up to ten years in prison. The woman pleaded guilty to embezzling about a million dollars from an ambulance company. Now some people in the community want to know how it happened.

Thea Tafner admitted Friday to stealing at least $1 million from the American Hose Ambulance Company in Mount Carmel over a period of 10 years. Since then the company was forced to close after 60 years of service. Some people in the area don't understand how this happened.

"It's a lot of money. It boggles my mind on how she could've gotten away with this for so long without anybody really checking," said Don Reed. "It was really unfair. The American Hose House could've used that money. She shouldn't have taken it. It's really unfair to the hose house because they really needed that money," said Albert Corbacio.

Borough officials said Tafner was chairman of the American Hose Ambulance Committee. She used her position to gain access to their account for her own personal use. Borough President Tony Matulewicz said Tafner redirected Medicare payments for ambulance services into her own pocket.

An investigation uncovered receipts for thousands of dollars Tafner spent at Lowes and QVC. "They had an ambulance board that was suppose to over see the operations of the ambulance. They were asleep at the wheel for a decade and let her run that ambulance by herself. That's what caused the down fall of it," said Matulewicz.

Tafner was also a principal in the Line Mountain School District. She resigned Friday. "I know there are people out there that would do it but it's unbelievable someone would do something like that to a company that helps support that community. Just really shocking," said Mount Carmel resident Kimberly Pfleegor.

Tafner could faces up to 10 years in prison for stealing.

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Chairwoman Admits Theft

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