HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP — An Indiana County woman, her sister and mother were arraigned Wednesday in Westmoreland County, accused by state police of making $250,000 worth of unauthorized purchases on a company’s credit card.
Lyndsey Nicole Christ, 31, of Shelocta, was charged with one felony count each of theft by deception and access device fraud by state police at Greensburg.
Her mother, Laurie Renee Christ, 52, of Scottdale, Westmoreland County, and sister, Amanda Renae Christ, 30, of Jeannette, Westmoreland County, are facing similar charges.
All three women appeared at a preliminary hearing Wednesday before Magisterial District Judge L. Anthony Bompiani. They were released on $50,000 unsecured bond and their preliminary hearings were set for Aug. 27.
According to a criminal complaint filed by Trooper Evan R. Terek, Laurie and Amanda Christ were employed by the Connors Group, which is based in Washington County.
Laurie Christ, facing two felony counts of theft by deception and three felony counts of access device fraud, served as the company’s records keeper for 11 years and was permitted to make purchases with the company’s credit card for business-related transactions.
Terek said she also was authorized to issue company credit cards to employees and make payments.
Amanda Christ, charged with one felony count each of theft by deception and access device fraud, was employed by the Connors Group as an operations assistant and had a company credit card in her name, police said.
Lyndsey Christ was never employed by the company but was given a credit card by her mother to use, according to the criminal complaint.
On May 21, Terek said he spoke to the victim, John Connors, who resides in Hempfield Township.
Connors said when he reviewed credit account statements from December 2015 until March 2018 he found approximately $250,000 in unapproved purchases.
Connors said he believed Lyndsey Christ was “personally responsible for approximately $78,000 of that total.” Police said Amanda Christ accounted for about $44,000 more.
“(Laurie Christ) told her daughters they could make personal purchases with the cards,” Terek said in the complaint. “She altered the transactions in expense reports to appear as if they were approved transactions.
“She made payments against the debt using Connors Group’s business checking account.”
All three women confessed to making personal purchases in interviews this summer, police said.