Five Star Bank has reimbursed $6,600 to Austin's Army -- a fundraising effort to assist a Pembroke teen struck with a rare form of cancer -- after a local woman allegedly made unauthorized withdrawals from the charitable account.
The alleged theft was discovered by Jason Heineman on Nov. 27.
Jodi M. Coe, 37, of Batavia Oakfield Townline Road, Oakfield, was arrested in connection with the alleged theft and charged with 41 counts of possessing a forged instrument.
According to court documents, Coe allegedly acquired blank checks, drafted the checks in her name and forged Jason Heineman's signature on the checks.
Heineman wrote in an affidavit that he never wrote checks to Coe out of the Austin Army's account and that she was never authorized to write checks to herself.
The checks were all allegedly cashed between Oct. 7 and Nov. 5, while Heineman was in New York City with his son, Austin, who was in NYC for surgery and treatment.
The bank balance discrepancy was discovered by Heineman when he visited a Five Star branch in Dansville and needed to transfer funds to another account.
Upon requesting an account summary, Heineman noticed checks being cashed out of sequence.
When confronted with an accusation by Heineman, Coe allegedly said she had a problem and was in over her head.
Later she allegedly told Heineman that she had a gambling problem.
According to documents, Heineman gave Coe an opportunity to reimburse the account and when that allegedly did not happen by Dec. 5 he contacted the Sheriff's Office.
Coe faces 36 counts in Batavia City Court of possession of a forged instrument and another five counts in the Town of Le Roy.
She is jailed without bail.
If convicted, Coe would likely be required to pay restitution and that restitution would be paid to Five Star Bank.
Austin Heineman still has ongoing medical expenses and anybody wishing to make a donation can contact Five Star Bank.