Pa. police charge former ambulance service treasurer with theft of nearly $100K

Freeport EMS declined to press charges against Justin G. DeAngelis


Patrick Varine
Tribune-Review

FREEPORT, Pa. — State police have charged a former Freeport councilman and Freeport ambulance service treasurer with the misappropriation of nearly $100,000 over a four-year period from 2016 to 2020.

Justin G. DeAngelis, 41, who is currently listed with a Jeannette address according to court records, was charged Tuesday with theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception and unauthorized device access, all at the felony level.

A letter delivered in late 2021 to the Trib's Valley News Dispatch office by Freeport EMS Executive Director Chris O'Leath, accused DeAngelis of stealing, and subsequently repaying, nearly $98,000 from the ambulance service.

O'Leath wrote that DeAngelis was the only Freeport EMS officer with electronic access to its financial accounts during the four-year period when the money went missing. He also wrote that a forensic audit uncovered 62 unauthorized transactions totaling $97,807.77 between January 2017 and May 2020.

O'Leath said the money was repaid, and that the EMS company declined to press charges, but state police proceeded with an investigation that led to this week's charges.

The same month the letter was written, DeAngelis resigned from his positions with Freeport EMS, the Freeport Volunteer Fire Department as well as Freeport Council.

In March 2022, O'Leath was fired by the Freeport EMS executive board.

Reached for comment, O'Leath said he was currently involved in a lawsuit against the emergency service and had no further comment. O'Leath's attorney, Frank Rapp, said he recently filed preliminary paperwork but has not yet filed the complaint.

Reached by phone Wednesday, DeAngelis declined to comment on the charges, and an attorney was not listed in court records.

He posted $25,000 bond, and faces a preliminary hearing Sept. 21 in District Judge James H. Owen's Kittanning court.

Freeport EMS officials have put into place multiple checks and balances since the accounting discovery, O'Leath said, including more people having access to accounts and more steps to follow before money is moved.

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(c)2022 Tribune-Review

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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