By Joe Holden


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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Anthony “Tony” Rife was managing a Downingtown National Bank branch while also creating a blueprint, prosecutors say, of how they claim he stole just of $118,000.

“In this case, it wasn’t hard,” District Attorney Tom Hogan said in an interview. “The defendant had to use his own personal sign in code to get into all these other accounts to move the money around.”

Complex to an outsider, court papers detail a rather simple money shuffling scheme at Downingtown National bank branches in Exton and Chester Springs.

Credit: (Chester County Prosecutor’s Office)

It’s alleged Rife used a primary account — a trust set up for a special needs person — where more than a hundred thousand dollars was diverted.

“He had one bank account he would run all the money through, and then he was using another six or seven accounts to siphon money into that main account,” Hogan explained.

Rife, an elected Parkesburg Borough councilman, denies the charges, according to his attorney, Michael Skinner.

Figuring he was growing desperate, detectives say Rife also resurrected dormant accounts — even one of a dead man.

“It’s bad enough he’s in a position of trust,” Hogan said. “That he’s a bank branch manager, you go to a bank because you trust them with your money, not that they’re going to steal it.”

A public relations firm for the bank released a very brief statement indicating they’re cooperating and customer’s accounts are their top priority.

When pressed about Rife’s status with the bank, a spokeswoman confirmed he is no longer employed by the bank.

CBS3 sources say Rife has since been fired.

The mayor and council president of Parkesburg had no comment on the allegations.