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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ex-officer at National Penn Bank charged in $4 million embezzlement

Federal authorities Tuesday charged a former National Penn Bank officer with embezzling more than $4.4 million and using the money to pay off debts and buy property and vehicles.

Prosecutors said Roberta L. Stutzman, a former vice president of loan operations, created lines of credit using fictitious names and electronically transferred the funds into accounts held by herself and relatives.
Stutzman, 62, of Boyertown is charged with one count each of bank fraud, embezzlement by a bank employee and filing a false tax return, U.S. Attorney Michael L. Levy said.
Stutzman filed a 2007 tax return that did not include $719,571 in income, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Stutzman, while employed at the Boyertown-based bank, spent much of the money on vehicles, several residences and other items. They said she also transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars to relatives and others.
Catharine S. Bower, National Penn senior vice president for corporate communications, said in a statement that no customer funds were lost.
"Today we learned that, after a 14-month investigation, the U.S. attorney’s office has indicted a former National Penn employee on criminal fraud charges," she said. "This relates back to events first uncovered and disclosed by National Penn in December 2008, and since such time National Penn has cooperated fully with law enforcement officials."
The bank has said it discovered irregularities in Stutzman’s bookkeeping records.
The charges are in addition to a civil lawsuit the bank filed against Stutzman and others in December 2008, when Stutzman was terminated.
The bank accused Stutzman of conspiring with members of her family, including her husband, Dennis K.; and sons Matthew K. and David K.
No one else in Stutzman’s family has been charged criminally.
According to prosecutors:
Roberta Stutzman opened two lines of credit under false names and two lines of credit under her name and her husband’s name. She transferred money into the accounts of relatives and others at National Penn and other banks.
She used the bank’s computer system to delete the accrued interest on the lines of credit.
Prosecutors want Stutzman to forfeit property, including houses in Jim Thorpe and Albrightsville, both in Carbon County; two homes in Boise, Idaho; and a residence in Pottstown.
They also are seeking the forfeiture of a 2006 Hummer, two BMW sedans, a Cadillac Escalade, two sport utility vehicles and other items.
In the civil case, the bank is seeking $4.5 million in compensatory damages, unspecified punitive damages and restitution.
Stutzman’s attorney, James M. Polyak, said his client has been cooperating with prosecutors.

A Boyertown woman has been sentenced to a federal prison after she admitted to embezzling more than $4.4 million from National Penn Bank where she once worked as an assistant vice president.Roberta L. Stutzman, 63, a former manager of retail loan accounting and assistant vice president of loan accounting in the retail loan department at the bank's Boyertown branch, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to 75 months in a federal penitentiary after she pleaded guilty to charges of bank fraud, bank embezzlement and tax fraud.Specifically, Stutzman admitted that while employed at National Penn Bank she misappropriated $4,414,538 of the bank's money, according to U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger.
Stutzman spent much of the embezzled funds on expensive vehicles, a vacation home, real estate, costly jewelry, paid vacations and gifts, a well as transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars to third parties," Memeger alleged.The alleged third parties were not identified in the indictment. Stutzman was the only person indicted in connection with the scheme, officials said.Stutzman also filed a false tax return in calendar year 2007 by not reporting approximately $719,571 in additional income from the embezzled funds, prosecutors alleged.U.S. District Court Judge Joel H. Slomsky ordered Stutzman to pay full restitution and ordered that she immediately be taken to prison.While employed by the bank in its retail loan operations, Stutzman was responsible for processing new loan information and monitoring and processing transactions to general ledger accounts, court documents alleged.Stutzman allegedly had access to the computer system that allowed her to create new loans and to adjust amounts in the accounts. Stutzman also had authority to create and process certain adjustments, federal authorities alleged.With the scheme, Stutzman fraudulently opened two lines of credit under false names and two lines of credit under her name and her husband's name, according to the federal indictment. Stutzman allegedly stole money from those lines of credit to pay off her own debts. She also transferred money from those lines of credits to other accounts, including accounts in the names of third parties, according to court papers.The third parties benefited by receiving substantial money transfers, gifts of jewelry, real property, vehicles, furniture, paid vacations, paid child care expenses, and regular and significant monthly payments of credit card debt, and mortgage debt, authorities alleged.
Stutzman allegedly regularly accessed the bank computer database to delete the accrued interest on the fictitious lines of credit.Prosecutors further alleged that in 2008, Stutzman "willfully" filed a false income tax return for the year 2007, reporting $28,931 in taxable income for herself and her husband, identified in court papers as D.S., when she knew she had not reported about $719,571 in additional income.Federal authorities have filed a notice of forfeiture against Stutzman to seize property that allegedly was derived from proceeds traceable to the embezzlement, including five properties located in Pottstown, Jim Thorpe and Albrightsville in Pennsylvania and in Boise, Idaho, according to court papers.The forfeiture notice also listed seven vehicles, including a Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Suburban and a 2006 Hummer.Other property listed in the forfeiture notice included: snowmobiles; electronics equipment; furniture; pearl and gold jewelry; and several bank and investment accounts.The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service investigated the matter.Last year, Stutzman was named in a lawsuit, filed in Berks County Court, which alleged she embezzled from the bank in a scheme involving several members of her family. The suit was filed against Stutzman, seven members of her family and a New Jersey woman whose relationship to Stutzman was unknown.The suit alleged Stutzman created lines of credit for nonexistent people and deposited about $4.5 million into accounts held by the other individuals named in the suit and used the money to buy houses for herself and her family in Jim Thorpe, Albrightsville and Mount Carmel in Pennsylvania and in Boise, Idaho.Stutzman, who was fired from the bank in 2008, worked at the bank since 1981, according to the suit. In the suit, National Penn sought restitution and compensation for damages. The status of the lawsuit could not be determined on Wednesday.

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