Woman Accused Of Stealing Grandmom’s Retirement Savings

An Upper Perkiomen Valley woman is accused of stealing nearly $170,000 from an account held jointly by her uncle and her 91-year-old grandmother. 29-year-old Joelle Speidel (pictured below) of New Hanover Township is charged with theft by deception and related offenses.  The uncle and grandmother asked her for help with the account because she has an educational background in finance.  Prosecutors say she made electronic transfers and check payments for her personal expenses including car payments, credit card payments, cell phone bills, vacations, and her tuition at Saint Joseph’s University.  The thefts came to light earlier this year when her monthly payments to the Dock Woods Retirement Community in Towamencin stopped for lack of funds.  Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman says Speidel admitted taking the money, even though she was not given permission to make the transactions, and she wiped out her grandmother’s retirement savings in a year-and-a-half.  She was taken to Montgomery County Prison in lieu of $100,000 cash bail, and the Dock Woods Community is allowing her grandmother to continue living there.