A Bradford man was arraigned Friday on felony theft charges for allegedly taking more than $90,000 from a person’s trust for uses not related to the beneficiary.
Joel F. Mong, 60, of 63 S. Kendall Ave., is charged with theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, all third-degree felonies; and misapplication of government property, a second-degree misdemeanor.
According to the criminal complaint, between January 2014 and October 2018, while Mong was co-guardian of the trust, he used $93,664.82. The complaint alleged there were a “significant number of disbursements” not for the person’s benefit, including “dating sites, payments to several females that did not provide any service (to the person), as well as purchases at beer/wine/liquor/tobacco stores, Amazon, etc.”
The complaint alleged that the state trooper in charge of the investigation interviewed the trust officer at the main branch of Hamlin Bank in Smethport and the alleged victim. He determined that the money was requested and obtained by Mong to “pay for five aides that were alleged to be rendering care to (the victim),” but the victim told police she had never met the alleged aides.
The trooper interviewed the aides, who said they had never met the victim, but said Mong was paying them for various reasons unrelated to the victim, “such as in exchange for their companionship, conversation, and to pay attorney’s fees for one of the females” as well as other expenses, the complaint stated.
Mong was arraigned Friday before District Judge Bill Todd and remanded to jail in lieu of $20,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 14 before Todd.