An Upper Darby employee is accused of stealing more than $216,000 from taxpayers to buy drugs, pay off her credit card debt and pay rent.
Jessica McCusker, 36, of Upper Darby, is charged with theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received.
McCusker had been employed at the Upper Darby tax office for 15 years. The investigation began on May 22, 2017 when McCusker was out sick. Her supervisor needed a form and found cash receipts for payments of residents’ taxes in McCusker’s desk drawer, investigators said.
The supervisor later checked the office’s computer records and discovered monies taken for the receipts had not been posted. McCusker was suspended on June 2, 2017 after failing to explain to her supervisor and township officials about the receipts in her drawer and why the tax payments were missing, according to officials.
Investigators determined McCusker took cash payments from taxpayers, gave each taxpayer a receipt but didn’t post the payments to the office’s computer system. McCusker allegedly posted the payments to an earlier day that was already reconciled to hide her theft.
During an interview with law enforcement, McCusker allegedly admitted to committing the thefts over several years. McCusker said she used the stolen money to move with her children from her marital residence to an apartment. She also allegedly used the money for rent, tuition, credit card debt and drugs.
A forensic audit revealed McCusker stole a total of $216,740.15 taxpayer funds from 2012 to 2017, officials said.
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“The defendant used her position of trust in Upper Darby to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from Upper Darby taxpayers,” District Attorney Katayoun Copeland said. “Then, to add insult to injury, she used the stolen money to buy drugs and pay credit card bills.”
McCusker’s attorney Michael Dugan told NBC10 his client is cooperating with investigators.
“She has done everything that they have asked from her,” Dugan said. “She has sat down with them. Doing the best to make this as seamless as possible.”