Woman arraigned in one embezzlement case, taken into custody for another

York woman accused of stealing $116K from Salvation Army, United Way

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Sharon Whispell

A former Salvation Army major now living in York City is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from that organization's Tamaqua corps in Schuylkill County, as well as from the United Way.

Sharon Whispell, 53, now of the first block of East King Street, remains free on $25,000 bail, charged with two counts of theft by deception and one count each of receiving stolen property and theft by failure to make required disposition.

All the charges are felonies, according to court records, and she is also charged with a misdemeanor count of tampering with records. Whispell was arraigned on the charges Thursday, Aug. 8, court records state.

Tamaqua Police allege she stole a total of $116,913.33 — about $80,313 from the Salvation Army between October 2015 and June 2019, and about $36,600 from the United Way in Schuylkill County between April 2017 and April 2019.

According to charging documents, a major from the Salvation Army's Tamaqua corps came to police in June with fraudulent receipts submitted by Whispell, for which she had been reimbursed.

Whispell confessed to a Salvation Army superior that she stole the money, documents allege.

The Salvation Army then moved her to housing owned by the organization in York City, according to police.

Investigators determined the receipts submitted by Whispell didn't match the purchases, and that she created the receipts to hide her thefts, charging documents allege.

Suspended, then fired: A statement from the Salvation Army's general secretary, Major Edgar George Jr., said Whispell was suspended after "financial irregularities in the management of the Tamaqua Corps Community Center" were discovered during an annual audit.

Whispell's employment was subsequently terminated, according to the statement.

The Salvation Army doesn't tolerate "conduct unbecoming of our officers," George noted in the statement, adding he and others in the organization are saddened by the allegations.

No clients lost services because of the alleged thefts, according to George.

Whispell could not be reached Friday for comment. It was unclear if she has retained an attorney.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.