MEDIA COURTHOUSE >> South Media Fire Co. Treasurer Terrea Faith Stubbs has been charged with theft and related offenses for allegedly embezzling more than $50,000 from the company between April 2018 and August 2019.

“Individuals like Stubbs who steal from volunteer community organizations such as the South Media Fire Co. tear at the very fabric of our society,” said Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland in a release. “People dedicate and donate their trust, time and money to incredible organizations such as this fire company, and Terrea Stubbs repeatedly betrayed that trust while reaping significant, personal financial gain.”

Stubbs, 43, of the 700 block of Forrest Street in Media, is charged with one count each of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, forgery, access device fraud and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, all felonies of the second degree, as well as criminal use of a communication facility, a felony of the third degree.

Nether Providence Police Detective Mike Erickson and Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division Detective Michele Deery initiated a joint investigation in July after receiving a tip that an active member of the fire company was stealing money, according to the release.

Deery and Erickson spoke with South Media Fire Chief Max Hopkins, who relayed that Stubbs had been an active member for approximately two years and became treasurer in May 2018. The fire company first noticed a discrepancy in a cash deposit one year later, according to the release.

A review of the fire company’s records beginning in May 2018 revealed various unauthorized cash withdrawals and online charges to the company credit card, according to the release. The fire company board held a meeting in July regarding the missing funds, during which Hopkins allegedly received a text message from Stubbs stating, “Please accept my apology for abusing your trust in me as treasurer” and promising to “repay every dollar.”

Erickson and Deery interviewed Stubbs July 24, according to the release. During that interview, she allegedly admitted to using the firehouse credit card to make unauthorized cash withdrawals and purchases. These included online gambling, lottery tickets and paying personal household bills. Stubbs also allegedly admitted to repeatedly forging the signature of a second signatory that was required on an account.

A review of financial records showed Stubbs also wrote more than 40 checks on firehouse bank accounts to herself, and stole cash from donations and fundraisers that was never deposited into the fire company’s bank accounts, according to the release.

All told, Stubbs allegedly took $50,937 from the comany’s coffers. She was released on $25,000 unsecured bail following arraignment Tuesday before Magisterial District Judge Deborah A. Krull. A preliminary hearing before Krull is scheduled for Aug. 19.

Assistant District Attorney William Judge, Jr. is prosecuting. Stubbs is represented by defense attorney Enrique A Latoison, who said he accompanied her to turn herself in Tuesday morning.

“Miss Stubbs is a mother of three who has lived a law-abiding life and has never been in trouble before,” Latoison said. “We look forward to seeing the evidence in this case.”

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