For months, a woman swiped treasured sheets of stamps and other collectibles that could be worth at least US$1 million from her employer and sold them through her eBay account. It is a real scandal in the world of philately and stamp collecting.
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Colleen Carroll-Dean, 40, was arrested Thursday when a search warrant was executed at her Carrick home and investigators found dozens of pages of colorful and valuable stamps, said Mike Manko, spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney's office.
A manager of Creative Products International discovered that six to eight boxes of stamps, as well as more taken from other boxes, were missing from the Squirrel Hill company's inventory after a customer complained that he had not received an order of Bhutan stamps, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday by district attorney Detective Jackelyn Weibel.
Among the missing inventory was about 137,000 Bhutan stamps worth a total of $266,000, according to a criminal complaint.
"Other missing stamps were family heirlooms which were never issued and were so valuable they are considered 'priceless' " and were not even assessed by a stamp valuation company, Scott Catalog, Detective Weibel wrote in the complaint.
"It will take some time to determine the exact value of the collection", Mr. Manko said, who estimated it could be worth at least $1 million.
CPI's owner, Frances Todd Stewart, confirmed the theft to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, but would not comment further, calling it a private matter.
Detective Weibel wrote that Ms. Carroll-Dean worked for CPI from November 2011 through July 2014 as an administrative and accounting assistant and was responsible for fulfilling Bhutan stamp orders.
In June 2015, a customer complained to Ms. Stewart after he did not receive a final order of Bhutan stamps for which he had paid more than $9,000.
Ms. Carroll-Dean had instructed the customer to pay through her PayPal account rather than the company's website, Detective Weibel said.
By selling CPI's stamps on eBay, Ms. Carroll-Dean netted more than $34,000. She now faces felony counts of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property and was in the Allegheny County Jail, Mr. Manko said.
Sourced by post-gazette.com