WCCC staff accountant charged with theft
A veteran staff accountant at Westmoreland County Community College in Youngwood is charged with stealing $52,814 from student government accounts since 2013.
Shirley D. Ferrenberg, 55, of Unity was charged by county Detective Randy Gardner with theft and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds before Hempfield District Judge Tony Bompiani.
Ferrenberg, who has been employed by the college for more than 20 years, was released on recognizance bond pending a preliminary hearing Sept. 13.
Gardner reported in an affidavit of probable cause that the thefts were uncovered July 7 by a controller as the college was preparing for an audit.
Ferrenberg was asked by college officials about several questionable entries discovered in computerized account ledgers and “really didn’t have an answer,” Gardner said.
Gardner reported in the affidavit that on July 8, Ferrenberg called off work and college officials texted her requesting a meeting.
Ferrenberg later met with a WCCC official and Ferrenberg reported that “she did a bad thing” and owed money back to the clubs, Gardner said.
College President Tuesday Stanley said Monday that Ferrenberg was dismissed immediately after the theft was discovered.
“She paid us back in full after the discovery was made. So we want to emphasize that restitution has been made in full, so the students will not have any loss,” Stanley said.
Stanley also noted that the college is implementing security measures to make sure that such thefts do not occur in the future. She said the thefts were from student club fundraiser accounts.
“This is one of only two areas where we accepted cash. Fortunately, we had maintained all the records,” Stanley said.
Attempts to reach Ferrenberg for comment Monday were not successful.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or [email protected]