PITTSBURGH, PA- A former resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court related to a series of bank robberies that occurred in West Mifflin, McCandless, and Penn Hills, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced Tuesday.
Donna Poremski, 44, pleaded guilty to four counts before Senior United States District Nora Barry Fischer.
The Court was informed that Poremski and her co-defendant, Parrish, who previously worked together in the home healthcare industry, conspired to rob three PNC banks between June and October of 2018.
During the first bank robbery, on June 23, 2018, Parrish and Poremski entered the PNC Bank, located in West Mifflin, and attempted to conceal their identities by dressing in traditional Middle Eastern attire, including wearing hijabs that covered their faces. As a part of their disguises, and to aid in the commission of the offense, Poremski rolled a suitcase into the bank and Parrish carried a cane and wore a surgical mask over her face with a tube that connected to an oxygen tank.
The women approached the teller station and handed one of the tellers a note as well as threatened that they had a bomb. The Court also was further informed that Poremski brandished what appeared to be a firearm, and that the two women then directed the bank employees to empty their cash drawers and enter the bank vault where the bank employees were forced to put the money into the suitcase. In all, the women stole $61,124.00 from this bank.
Poremski further admitted, in connection with her guilty plea, that during the second and third bank robberies, on September 6, 2018, and October 18, 2018, the two women wore disguises and Parrish entered the banks, located on McKnight Road in McCandless, and on Rodi Road in Penn Hills, to scope the banks out prior to Poremski entering the banks and robbing them.
During the September bank robbery, the Court was also informed that Poremski brandished what appeared to be a firearm and demanded money from the tellers. After obtaining the money from the teller’s cash drawer, Poremski directed the bank employees into the bank vault where the bank employees were forced to put money into Poremski’s bag. While the bank robbery was underway, Parrish was observed driving Poremski’s vehicle near the bank. In all, the women stole $35,500.00 from the McCandless PNC Bank.
During the October bank robbery, at the Penn Hills PNC, the Court was further informed that Poremski demanded money from the tellers and threatened to use a firearm but never brandished one. In all, the women stole $350.00 from the Penn Hills PNC Bank.
A total of $97,004.00 was taken from the West Mifflin, McCandless and Penn Hills PNC banks, during these robberies.
Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 1:00 PM. As to each of the armed bank robbery counts, the law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than 25 years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000, or both. As to each of the unarmed bank robbery counts, the law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Additionally, the law provides for a minimum sentence of not less than five years in prison and up to life, a fine of $250,000, or both, for the conspiracy offense. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Poremski remains on bond pending sentencing.
Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, West Mifflin Borough Police Department, the McCandless Police Department, the Penn Hills Police Department and the City of Pittsburgh Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the Superseding Indictment in this case.
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