A Troop Leader was arrested after she allegedly stole thousands of dollars from the Girl Scouts.
Heather Lynn Belford is accused of stealing $3,411.28 from Cub Scout Pack 27 while she served as the Committee Chair/Cub Master. She is also accused of stealing $7,318.88 from Girl Scout Troop 7343 and the Girl Scouts of America of Eastern Pennsylvania while she served as Troop Leader.
Belford served as the Committee Chair of Cub Scout Pack 27 between May and June, 2014 and was the Troop Leader of Girl Scout Troop 7343 from August, 2013 through June, 2013. Both groups met regularly at Oaks Elementary School in Upper Providence Township.
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As Committee Chair and Troop Leader for the two groups, Belford was given a PNC Bank card and a TD Bank card to pay for Girl Scout-related supplies and activities. Belford allegedly used the cards to withdraw money for personal expenses instead.
Belford used the PNC card for 13 unauthorized transactions in June of 2014 which led to a loss of $3,411.28 for Cub Scout Pack 27, police said. She also used the TD Bank card to make 41 unauthorized transactions between April and June of 2014 which led to a loss of $7,318.88 for both Girl Scout Troop 7343 and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, according to investigators.
Belford was arrested and charged with several counts, including felony theft, theft by deception, receiving stolen property and access device fraud. She was arraigned Wednesday afternoon and her bail was set at $5000 unsecured. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 4.
The theft caused significant financial losses for the Girl Scout troops, according to officials. While the District Attorney’s Office will seek restitution, they are also asking for short term donations.
If you would like to donate, email Cub Scout Pack 27 at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Girl Scouts website.
Community youth groups or youth sports league volunteers who would like training on fraud prevention can call the District Attorney’s Office at 610-278-3098 or can request a program via the District Attorney’s Office website.