Shamira Hawkins-Worthey, 30, is charged with stealing $18,000 worth of SEPTA tokens while working for DHS. Credit: D.A.'s office
A social workers services manager is charged with using her position providing SEPTA tokens to children and parents to allegedly steal thousands of tokens, while filling out fake overtime forms.
Shamira Hawkins-Worthey, 30, faces 1,576 counts of charges including theft and forgery for an alleged fraud that totaled $24,156.54 in costs to the city's Department of Human Services (DHS).
"I have no words for the actions of this person," D.A. Williams said in a statement. "Instead of helping some of the most vulnerable people in our city, she chose to use her position with DHS to line her own pockets. It's sad and very, very wrong."
Hawkins-Worthey's alleged fraud was uncovered by the D.A.'s Public Corruption Task Force and the Inspector General's Office.
A city employee for eight years, Hawkins-Worthey's job included providing SEPTA fare tokens to DHS clients, including children, parents and family members, to aid them in commuting to court hearings, doctors visits, and other events specific to DHS' work.
In September 2013 a DHS supervisor contacted the Inspector General's office after they noticed Hawkins-Worthey had requested 300 tokens in two days, which is an "unusually high request," according to the D.A.'s office. Additionally, the cases for which the tokens were requested were inactive or closed.
An investigation found that from January to September in 2013, Hawkins-Worthey made 640 questionable requests for SEPTA tokens, and received 11,474 tokens worth $17,784.20. Of those requests, signatures by supervisors on 366 were confirmed as forgeries.
"Several forms contained signatures of supervisors who were absent or on leave, and many of the DHS cases that Hawkins-Worthey cited on the request forms were either closed, inactive or did not exist," the D.A.'s office said in a press release.
Additionally, investigators determined that between April and October of 2013, Hawkins-Worthey requested overtime for 76 cases -- 28 of which were reportedly closed or inactive.
While under investigation Hawkins-Worthey was assigned to a different position and ordered not to take overtime. However, she submitted three more authorization for overtime slips with forged signatures after that order was made.
Her fraudulent overtime was totaled at $6,372.34.
The total theft from the city that Hawkins-Worthey's is accused of is $24,156.54.
She turned herself in this morning and is being processed by police. A court date is not yet listed.