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A former Delaware County, Pa., court employee was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday on charges of stealing more than $450,000 from restitution payments owed to criminal victims and using the loot to pay her own bills, including her phone, credit cards and cable television bills, and her orders from the Victoria’s Secret catalogue. Joan Frederick, a former employee of the Delaware County Office of Court Financial Services, faces eight counts of mail fraud and one count of bank fraud. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony J. Wzorek said his office is also seeking forfeiture of more than $287,000. According to the indictment, Frederick issued restitution checks to real and fictitious criminal victims, forged their names, and eventually deposited the money into her own bank account. She also allegedly used restitution funds to pay her own bills, issuing checks to ACMC Anesthesiologist; American Eagle; Atlantic City Medical Center; Bell Atlantic; Capitol One Chase Bank; Chase Card Member Services; Comcast; Corestate Bank; Direct Merchants Bank; Express Store; First Keystone Bank; Household Finance Corp.; Keystone Financial; MBNA American; Nationwide Insurance; PECO; Philadelphia Suburban Water; Sears; Southeast Radiology; Strawbridges; Structure; Suburban Cable Co.; Suburban Water; and Victoria’s Secret. The indictment says that between November 1996 and February 2000, Frederick made out 100 checks in the names of real and fictitious restitution victims and then forged the names of the recipients and deposited them in her own and her family members’ accounts at Sovereign Bank. After depositing the money in family members’ accounts, the indictment says, Frederick would withdraw the money for her own use by signing the family members’ names. The scheme allegedly netted Frederick more than $287,000 — all of which the U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking to forfeit. In a separate scheme, the indictment says, Frederick issued checks from the Office of Court Financial Services’ bank account that was intended for crime victims to pay her and her family’s credit card bills and other expenses. Between May 1997 and February 2000, the indictment says, Frederick diverted more than $177,000 from crime victims to pay her own bills.

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