A Bridesburg woman accused of using bogus checks to steal $1,000 worth of “scrip” from St. Matthew’s Church in Mayfair has pleaded guilty to theft.
Common Pleas Judge Alice Dubow on June 6 ordered Kathryn Clohessey to serve four years probation and pay full restitution to the Mayfair church.
Parishes throughout Philadelphia use the scrip program to fund their educational programs. Churches buy gift certificates from various local stores at a discount, then, in turn, sell the certificates to the public at face value. The certificates spend like cash in the designated stores, while purchasers also receive vouchers to offset a portion of Catholic school tuitions.
The gift certificates or cards are known as scrip. Anyone can buy them and apply the tuition vouchers to the students of their choice.
According to Assistant District Attorney David Simon, Clohessey, 39, used her estranged husband’s bank checks to buy $1,000 in scrip from St. Matthew’s, at Cottman Avenue and Battersby Street.
Early last year, Clohessey — who is also known by her married name Kathryn Mauro — stole her husband’s checkbook from his home and initially tried to cash a check at a bank, but the bank turned her away because her name was not on the account, Simon said, citing the husband’s statement to police.
Clohessey then wrote two $500 checks to the church, one on April 26, 2011, and the next on May 2, 2011, in exchange for scrip. Both checks bounced, Simon said.
Police were called to investigate. They arrested Clohessey last September on charges of forgery, theft, writing bad checks and using deception to “secure the execution of documents.” Clohessey had no known personal connection to St. Matthew’s, according to the prosecutor.
Clohessey pleaded guilty only to the theft charge. The district attorney’s office dropped the other charges against her. ••EndFragment