Ardmore woman admits stealing $394,000 from Main Line employer
NORRISTOWN – An Ardmore woman has admitted to stealing nearly $400,000 from the Main Line roofing company she worked for, using an embezzlement scheme to support “a lavish lifestyle”, including vacation trips and cosmetic surgery for buttock augmentation.
Tiarah Tiffany Brokenborough, 30, of the 100 block of Elm Avenue in Ardmore, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court to felony charges of trafficking in the proceeds of unlawful business and theft by unlawful taking in connection with incidents that occurred between October 2018 and March 2020 while she was an accountant at Hynes Roofing and Siding.
Judge Thomas P. Rogers postponed sentencing so court officials could write a background investigation report on Brokenborough, who remains free on bail pending a sentencing hearing.
The open plea means Brokenborough has no agreement with prosecutors over his potential sentence. Rogers will have full discretion to shape the sentence after hearing arguments from Assistant District Attorney Scott Frame and defense attorney Eugene Tinari.
Brokenborough faces a maximum sentence of 13½ to 27 years in prison. However, state sentencing guidelines may allow for a lesser sentence.
Frame has vowed to seek a state prison sentence against Brokenborough.
“She spent that money on a lavish lifestyle which included flying across the country to go to different sports games…and she also spent it on body augmentation. She spent every penny and unfortunately because of that the victims in this case, an elderly couple who had worked their whole lives to build this roofing business, have now effectively lost their pensions,” said added Frame.
“We will absolutely seek a state prison sentence in this case because it is such egregious conduct to live a lavish lifestyle and destroy someone’s retirement dreams,” Frame added.
Along with the charges, prosecutors alleged that Brokenborough used company credit cards to rack up personal bills totaling more than $394,000. Prosecutors alleged Brokenborough used the credit cards to pay for airline tickets, restaurant meals, vacation expenses, rent and tickets to a Drake concert and professional sporting events. Brokenborough also paid a plastic surgeon $5,865 for liposuction and buttock augmentation, court documents show.
An investigation began in March 2020, when the owners of the roofing business, located along Sibley Avenue, contacted Lower Merion Police to report the theft by Brokenborough. The company’s accountant discovered the theft after being contacted by one of the credit card companies regarding an outstanding balance of $59,000, according to the criminal complaint filed by Lower Merion Detective Edward Sarama.
Company officials said they believe the card was canceled 18 months earlier. It was later determined that the map address had been changed to a house in Lansdowne where Brokenborough was living at the time. The card balance was paid through the company’s Bryn Mawr Trust bank account, investigators said.
According to the criminal complaint, a Lower Merion detective recovered photos of Brokenborough via her iCloud account showing her in places such as a 76ers game, a Dallas Cowboys game in Dallas, nightclubs, a concert, and d ‘other places. When verifying the information encoded in the digital photos, many of them matched the dates and locations where the credit cards were used, according to court documents.
“As a result of my investigation, I believe Tiarah Brokenborough is responsible for the theft of $394,412.44 from Hynes Roofing and Siding through fraudulent use of a credit card and theft of the company’s checking account,” wrote Sarama in the criminal complaint. “Brokenborough was in a position of trust in the business as an accountant and used that trust to access Hynes’ personal information and business accounts. She used these accounts to fund fine dining, vacations, attendance at sporting events, and plastic surgery.
When announcing Brokenborough’s arrest in November 2020, District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said Brokenborough breached a trust.
“This family business was run by someone they trusted. Unfortunately, it’s not completely uncommon,” Steele said at the time. “This is a reminder that every business and non-profit organization should have controls over an accountant or treasurer, so more than one person has control and oversight over monetary activity. This is the only way to ensure that the company or organization’s money is safe.