CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield woman accused of stealing rent money from residents at the Dimeling Senior Center recently appeared before Judge Paul E. Cherry in Clearfield County Court.
Cara Marie Artiola, 32, 315 Reighard St., Clearfield is charged with theft by unlawful taking, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, receiving stolen property and forgery. She had signed a plea agreement in November but when she appeared for sentencing, she wanted to have an attorney. She then withdrew her plea.
Artiola, who was the general manager of the center, allegedly took more than $9,000 between May and December of 2012.
She is also accused of violating her probation on a previous theft charge by committing the new offense. Cherry agreed to continue her probation revocation hearing until Feb. 7 to allow her to obtain representation.
According to court documents in the first case, she pleaded guilty to theft by failure to make deposit of funds in March of 2011 and was sentenced to two years probation. She had to pay restitution of $1,166 to the Joseph & Elizabeth Shaw Public Library.
According to the affidavit of probable cause in the Dimeling case, an employee of Developac Inc. of DuBois who manages the Dimeling noticed that Artiola was not making rent deposits in a timely fashion. In February of 2013, she received a letter from the bank stating there were non-sufficient funds in the bank account, which had a negative balance of $1,350.63. After checking recent receipts, it was discovered that a deposit of $8,015 from December of 2012 was not received by the bank.
When the employee talked with Artiola, she stated that she had hoped the difference would not be discovered until after she received her tax refund and could replace the money. The total amount missing was determined to be $9,632.
Artiola gave the company a letter stating her intent to pay off the amount before the end of February of 2013. As of March 5, she repaid only $1,800.
When police spoke with her in March, she admitted to stealing the cash. She explained she started with taking the cash rent of one person in May or June 2012 but it slowly escalated until she was keeping all the rent paid in cash. In a written statement she admitted to taking the funds to help pay bills and the other expenses of being a single parent.