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Big Run Theft

A Punxsutawney woman has been charged with theft about a year and a half after a state police forensic unit raided the Big Run War Memorial in Jefferson County, officials say.

According to charges filed by state police last week, 67-year-old Bonita Haugh is accused of stealing from Big Run Borough funds by writing out an “inordinate” amount of checks for cash, then lying about it.

Troopers say their investigation began in June of 2019, but the thefts had been occurring since July of 2015.

According to state police, troopers interviewed Haugh in Oct., 2019, during which time Haugh made inconsistent statements which led to her eventually confessing to stealing from the Big Run War Memorial Fund.

Troopers say Haugh admitted to stealing various amounts of money. They say she first admitted to taking about $3,000-$4,000 then later stated, “I can’t believe it would be more than $5,000, $4,000.”

According to state police, Haugh was interviewed again in Aug. and troopers went through the checks that had been written out to “cash.”

They say Haugh couldn’t provide any legitimate purposes for the checks.

Investigators say they scheduled a polygraph test for Haugh in Sept., but Haugh instead admitted that she used the Big Run War Memorial fund for her own personal use.

She explained that she wrote several checks to pay her utility bills but repaid the money after she got paid.

Haugh has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 25.

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