Warrington ambulance worker accused of stealing $643K

March 12, 2013 3:24:04 PM PDT
Police say a secretary for a Bucks County ambulance company stole from the nonprofit, allegedly to support a gambling habit

According to investigators, Danette Lewchick stole $643,000 from the Warrington Community Ambulance service over the past four years.

They say she gambled away much of it at Parx Casino and another casino in Bethlehem.

Lewchick was the ambulance company's financial secretary.

The company gets its money from a tax, and from contributions.

Investigators say it went out the door almost as fast as it came in.

Last July, Lewchick allegedly took $82,000 in just two weeks.

Warrington residents are outraged.

"You put these people in a position where they have authority and they take advantage of it. It's a shame there's not more oversight," resident Larry Magala said.

Lewchick turned herself in yesterday and was slapped with multiple charges.

She left the court in handcuffs, unable to make the $25,000 bail.

Action News went to her home on a golf course today where her husband Kenneth came to the door.

He would only say he had nothing to say.

Records show Lewchick has a history of money troubles.

A few years before she was hired by the ambulance company, she filed for bankruptcy with more than $400,000 in debt, including $40,000 owed to casinos.

Her stepdaughter, Jennifer Lewchick, heads the ambulance company's board of directors.

The ambulance company referred us to its lawyer for comment.

She says Lewchick had prior bookkeeping experience before she was hired and says the rescue squad continues to provide quality service.

Residents who contribute to the squad are having second thoughts.

"I don't mind helping them out, but she was certainly helping herself out," resident Greg Seaman said.

This is the second time in 7 years that an employee of the squad has been arrested for embezzling.

If convicted, Lewchick faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.