Police charge employee who stole over $30k from Altoona business

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ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — Police have filed charges on a former Altoona Pipe and Steel employee who is accused of embezzling and stealing over $30,000.

According to the criminal complaint, Brandon Mills, 34, of Duncansville, was employed by Altoona Pipe and Steel between October 15, 2017, and December 1, 2017. During the time, he was given a company credit card to make business purchases. Mills spent $16,913.61 at a company by the name of Value Village and another $9,972.60 at a company by the name of J&B Sales in total.

An accountant was reviewing business paperwork when they saw a discrepancy. They looked into the company and found J&B was a fake website. They immediately told their supervisor, the complaint says.

The company began to look into Mills when they discovered over $6,000 worth of equipment, parts, and tools were missing/stolen. Further investigation on their part showed that all payments were made through PayPal to two different email addresses. One of which was confirmed to be the email Brandon Mills used to apply for his job.

The complaint states that Altoona Pipe and Steel sent a letter to Mills demanding that he return the equipment, parts, and tools. Shortly later his wife returned roughly $2,000 worth of the items, later stating Mills asked her to return these items for him with no idea about the letter.

Altoona Pipe and Steel decided to report everything to the Altoona Police who then opened an investigation.

It was determined by police, per the complaint, that there were various payments made to Value Village and J & B from anywhere between $5 to $1,150 at a time. They said they discovered both PayPal accounts to be empty with both attached to different bank accounts.

In the complaint, police interviewed Mills’ wife who stated she was unaware of what was going on. Mills had access to her license, birthday, social security, and stated that the information on one of the PayPal was hers, but she never gave him permission to open a business account with it.

Police say they soon discovered that Value Village’s PayPal was connected to the fiancé of Mills’ sister-in-law. His wife says they would frequently hang out and go to auctions together.

Charges have been filed against Mills for theft, receiving stolen property, criminal use of an electronic device, altering financial instruments, and others.

Police have not stated if anyone else was involved or will be charged.

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