Clinic worker accused in theft
The Howland woman was convicted of federal bank fraud in 2001.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- Police seized vehicles and about $200,000 in jewelry from the Howland home of a woman accused of taking more than $1.6 million from her employer over 21/2 years.
Deborah Toda, 48, of South Wind Drive, Howland, was arrested Friday at her home, the same day that township police working with Howland officers searched Toda's home and seized the items.
Toda is accused of taking $1,682,000 from her employer, which operates the North Central Pennsylvania Dialysis Clinic, Market Street. She worked as an accountant at the business for about three years.
Detective Greg Stepuk said the theft occurred over a 21/2 year period.
"She would write herself checks [on the company's account] for anywhere from $7,000 to $40,000 or $50,000 every month," the detective said.
Toda wrote the checks to a company with which the dialysis center did business, but she had an account set up under that same name at a different financial institution and was able to cash the checks.
Stepuk said that Toda then would change the bank statements that returned to her employer.
Toda will appear today in Mahoning County Court, Austintown, for a bond hearing. At her initial appearance on the felony theft charge Tuesday in Mahoning County Court, Boardman, Judge Joseph Houser said he had a potential conflict so he transferred the case to the other court. He didn't elaborate.
What police found
The search warrant for the Howland house was signed by Judge Peter J. Kontos of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. Police seized cars, a motorcycle and about $200,000 worth of jewelry from the house, Stepuk said.
According to the return from the search warrant, the cars seized are a 2006 Jeep Commander, a 2005 BMW, a 2006 Jeep Eagle, a 2004 BMW convertible, a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 1994 Ford Ranger XLT. Other items listed on the return include a mink coat, computer, financial papers, a woman's wallet containing 22 credit cards and photographs taken during trips to Paris, London and Italy.
During her court appearance Tuesday, Toda's attorney, Tom Letson of Warren, asked for a recognizance bond, saying that his client is married and owns a home and business in Trumbull County.
"She cooperated fully with the officers at the time of her arrest," Letson said.
The business Toda owns is an Ianazone's Pizza in Warren. Her husband is Paul Pollis, whose former wife, Charlotte Nagi-Pollis, was reported missing in 1994 while the couple lived in Girard and has never been found.
The latest theft charge isn't the first for Toda, formerly of Sharon. In 2000, a federal grand jury indicted her on a bank fraud charge and 13 counts of forgery.
In that case, she was accused of diverting 13 corporate checks totaling more than $414,000 between 1999 and 2000 from a Niles construction company where she worked as an accountant and bookkeeper to an account she maintained at First National Bank of Pennsylvania.
She pleaded guilty in 2001 and was convicted of the bank fraud; the 13 counts of forgery were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. She was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and ordered to receive mental health treatment while incarcerated. She also was given three years' federal probation to follow the prison term and remains on probation, court records show.