Police: Property Manager Pocketed Students’ Money
HAZLE TOWNSHIP — The cost of college room and board is already high these days, but police now say a property manager in Hazleton scammed Penn State Hazleton students out of more than $111,000.
Penn State Hazleton students pay a pretty penny to live in off-campus high-rise buildings near the campus in Sugarloaf Township. Now police say they’d been paying more than necessary, thanks to a scam set up by the building’s property manager Justine Crego.
Crego is charged with 48 counts of theft and receiving stolen property for cashing $111,000 worth of checks from the students who lived in the two buildings she managed near Hazleton.
According to court papers, a business in West Hazleton cashed the checks for her, thinking she owned the buildings.
Penn State senior Albert Higgins says Crego was nice initially, but he knew something wasn’t right.
“Last year, I saw her different. I started seeing a lot of new jewelry and new things, and it wasn’t making sense as to how you were getting that money,” said Penn State senior Albert Higgins.
Crego worked as the property manager for five years, but left in May. Police say she pocketed the money from 2011 through this year.
Students say Crego even installed these solar panels and told the kids it would help lower their electric bills. They say their bills only increased.
“I took a break off from school, and my last semester here, I couldn’t stay here no longer because I couldn’t pay the fees, and she still charged me for the time I wasn’t here,” said Penn State junior Jamal Joseph.
Now Albert Higgins is left wondering.
“You know, what’s going to happen to the money that we spent already?”
Crego is out on bail.
There is no word on if or when students might be able to get that money back.