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Woman Accused of Embezzling Thousands

Police in Lackawanna County said Thursday a woman admits stealing nearly $100,000 from her employer, and she took it all in only a matter of months.

Police said the employee of Sandvik Steel near Clarks Summit was illegally wiring the company’s money to herself.

The head of Sandvik said Arlene Voelbel worked for the company for three years. She is accused of starting the thefts last May and, at times, she was allegedly stealing $12,000 a month.

Police said Voelbel, of Dalton, told them she stole the money to support her three children in Virginia and pay legal bills from a divorce and custody battle.

In arrest paperwork she said, “I had every intention of paying it back, it just got out of control.”

Voelbel worked in accounts payable at Sandvik Steel near Clarks Summit.  The president of the company said from May to December last year she was wiring money to a personal account, masking them as payments to the company’s vendors, sometimes up to $12,000 a month.

“It was completely unexpected and obviously we’re saddened by that event and upset that it happened,” said Sandvik president Peter Frosini.

Arrest papers show when Voelbel met with investigators at Sandvik she admitted to the theft, but when they told her she was accused of stealing $96,000 she started crying, saying she had no idea it was that much.  An internal audit here showed indeed it was.

The president of the company said he is glad the routine audit caught the thefts after only about six months, but he’s still upset she was able to steal so much.

“We’ve been here for 40 years now, we celebrated our 40th year in Clarks Summit in 2011. We’re very proud of the people employed here, our products and services so to have something like this happen is very surprising and disappointing,” Frosini added.

Now, he said, the company that employees about 300 people will examine policies to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“I’ve been with Sandvik for 30 of those years and I don’t remember anything like this happening in the history of the company,” Frosini said.

Arelene Voelbel is free on bail.  She would not comment on the charges.

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