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WASHINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA – District Attorney Eugene A. Vittone announced today that an arrest warrant has been issued for Lesley Manown, a 44 year old woman who lives in Belle Vernon, PA. Ms.Manown is charged with Theft by Deception (F3) and Theft by Unlawful Taking (F3) in connection with the taking of $35,000 from an 81 year old victim. The affidavit of probable cause states that Manown, while employed as a manager of a bank in Donora, PA, was able to gain the victim’s confidence by telling her that she would help the victim regain a repossessed automobile. Ms. Manown had the victim sign numerous withdrawal slips and checks purportedly so that Ms. Manown could help her obtain an attorney. This matter was reported to the Area Agency on Aging- Protective Services who investigated the matter with bank officials who determined that over $ 35,000 was taken from the victim. Ms. Manown no longer is employed by the bank.“Unfortunately, people preying on the elderly is an underreported crime. Last week at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Task Force meeting in Harrisburg, I received information that only 1 in 44 cases of financial exploitation of the elderly is reported to the police. It is a huge problem with estimates of loss of $ 2.9 billion nationally. The prompt reporting and investigation of this matter by members of the Washington County Elder Abuse Task Force lead to the payment of restitution and the prosecution of the person responsible.” District Attorney Vittone stated. “I wish to commend Ms. Marie Christinis of the Area Agency on Aging Protective Services Unit and Chief James McElhaney for their excellent investigative work in this case.”Ms. Manown was arraigned before District Justice Mark Wilson who set bail at $ 5,000 unsecured. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, November 21 at 1:30 p.m. before District Justice Wilson.Chief Detective McElhaney is seeking information from the public from anyone who has informationabout this crime or related crimes. Chief McElhaney can be reached at (724) 228-6917.Anyone who suspects financial exploitation of an older adult may make a confidential report to the Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-537-2424 or during business hours at 724-489-8086. Your name as a reporting party will remain confidential under state law and a protective services caseworker will investigate the report promptly.All criminal defendants are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.###