SEA controller charged with stealing over $300,000 from former employer

July 24, 2019
By and The Associated Press
Action News

An official with the Sports and Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County has been charged with stealing more than $300,000 from an accounting firm for which she previously worked.

The Tribune-Review reports that 43-year-old Sharon Mink, employed since February 2017 as controller for the SEA, is charged with nine counts of forgery as well as theft and receiving stolen property.

Allegheny County prosecutors allege that the Plum woman embezzled more than $319,000 from Forest Hills-based Research Underwriters and used the money for cruises, airline tickets and merchandise from Louis Vuitton, Coach, Gucci and Tiffany.

Defense attorney Phil DiLucente said Mink has been suspended from the SEA without pay.

“At this time, it is premature to comment on the allegations, but I can tell you she is perplexed by these charges,” DiLucente said.

“The city will discuss the charges with Sen. (Wayne) Fontana and other SEA leaders, and supports their plans for an audit of authority finances,” said Tim McNulty, a spokesman for Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s office.

Statement from SEA Executive Director Mary Conturo:

“Today we became aware that criminal charges were filed against our controller related to her employment before the SEA. That employee has been placed on administrative leave, without pay, pending resolution of the criminal matter.

“While our financial operations require several sign-offs to ensure the integrity of our process, an investigation will be conducted with the help of the certified public accounting firm Maher Duessel to confirm that our financial processes and internal controls performed as intended and were not compromised.

“As this is a personnel matter, we will have no further comment.”