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Mother, son charged in theft case

April 16, 2019

A mother and son were charged Wednesday with stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a man in the woman’s care.

Constance Slebodnick, 64, and Joseph Drescher, 24, both of South Rosina Avenue, Somerset, were each charged with 30 third-, second- and first-degree felonies related to stealing at least $50,000 from the man during a four-year period.

Slebodnick was the man’s caregiver, according to state police.

According to a probable-cause affidavit, on Oct. 25 state police were contacted by Giant Eagle staff along North Center Avenue about Slebodnick using the man’s credit card to purchase tens of thousands of dollars worth of gift cards. She also wire transferred money to her son, Drescher, according to the affidavit. A search warrant found that Slebodnick had also used the man’s credit card at Lowe’s, Walmart and the Route 31 Giant Eagle, all in the Somerset area.

Records showed that over the four-year span, Slebodnick had wired Drescher $12,745, according to police.

She reportedly told police that she sent the wire transfers to her son to liquidate the gift cards into cash.

Both were arraigned Monday before District Judge Ken Johnson, of Somerset, and are free on unsecured $50,000 bonds. Preliminary hearings for Drescher and Slebodnick are scheduled for 1:30 and 1:40 p.m., respectively, April 23 before Johnson.