By Robin Rieger
AUDUBON, N.J. (CBS) - YouTube video shows the Oaklyn Cats cheerleaders in several competitions. They’ve won plenty of trophies, but right now 175 members from several nearby towns and their coaches have little to cheer about.
Audubon and Mt. Ephraim police say the groups treasurer, 50-year-old Susan Loberto of Audubon wiped out the organization’s bank account.
“There was two signatures on the checks, she forged the names on each check, used the, for cash,” said Audubon detective Timothy Stillman.
Police say about a month ago, Loberto started an on line and phone relationship with a man she met on Chemistry.com. Police say she fell in love, and fell for a scam.
“This gentleman led her to believe that he was from the Pennsylvania area. His parents had died, he was in Africa on some construction type business,” Stillman said.
He apparently couldn’t access his bank account and needed her help.
“Miss Loberto began to use, send him her own money,” said Stillman.
When that ran out, police say she cashed at least $9,000 in Oaklyn Cats checks at local banks, got money grams at Walmart and sent them to an address in Africa.
“The gentleman led her to believe that when he got back to the states he would give her the money and pay it back,” Stillman said.
Earlier this week a board member went to make a bank deposit and ended up calling Audubon police. Mt. Ephraim police were called by a bank teller who noticed the two signatures on a check, that police say Loberto presented, looked too similar. A joint investigation began.
“At that time we were notified by the bank that one of our several checks were overdrawn from our main account,” said Christine Smialowski the Oaklyn Cats vice president.
Board members and coaches say they are concerned for Loberto but heartbroken for the cheerleaders who fundraise.
“All that hard work and all the expenses we had, its gone,” Smialowski said.
Cheerleaders had ordered uniforms and shoes for upcoming competitions that they pay to enter. The funds gone from the bank would have covered that. They still owe the vendors and will start holding fundraisers to replenish the account.