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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Woman indicted for embezzling from Florence, South Carolina bank

Acting United States Attorney Kevin F. McDonald says that Antoinette Bolden Hill, age 32, of Sumter, was charged in a two-count Indictment with embezzlement by a bank employee and bank fraud.

Federal agents says Hill stole $123,858 while working at First Reliance Bank in Florence from June 2005 to October 2008.
The maximum penalty Hill could receive is a fine of one million dollars and a 30 year prison sentence.
The Acting United States Attorney stated that all charges in this Indictment are merely accusations and that all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hysham, Montana woman denies bank embezzlement charge

A Hysham woman suspected of stealing from Wells Fargo Bank denied federal charges Thursday. Courtney Marie Batey, 30, pleaded not guilty to bank embezzlement as charged in an indictment.

Batey allegedly embezzled more than $1,000 from October 2007 until June 2009 while she was employed by Wells Fargo Bank in Forsyth.
If convicted, Batey faces a maximum 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby continued Batey’s release pending trial. The case will be heard by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Former Billings, Montana bank president admits embezzling money

A former bank president on Thursday admitted federal charges that he stole about $17,000 from his bank.

“What did you do with the money?” Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull asked William Guy Paul, once the president of the downtown Billings branch of Yellowstone Bank.
Paul replied he used it “for personal obligations.”
Paul, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of bank embezzlement for stealing $17,284. He reached a plea agreement and waived his right to an indictment. Prosecutors agreed not to bring other charges against Paul.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Archer said that in 2008 and 2009, Paul used his position to embezzle money for his personal use. In early June 2009, Yellowstone Bank discovered more than $7,000 had not been paid to a customer.
The customer sold real estate in February 2009 and overpaid $7,244 because of a timing difference with the loan payment, Archer said. On Feb. 11, 2009, Paul created a Yellowstone Bank cashier’s check payable to the customer for $7,244 but never gave it to the customer.
Instead, Paul used the money in May to make a payment on his personal credit card, deposited $2,000 of the check into his personal savings account and took some in cash.
The investigation also found Paul took more than $10,000 from the bank in 2008 and deposited the money into his personal bank account.
Paul was terminated from the bank in June because of his conduct, Archer said.
Paul told the judge he is working for Cellular Plus/Verizon Wireless in Billings.
Kelly Varnes, Paul’s attorney, said earlier that Paul has made full restitution to the bank.
Paul faces a maximum 30 years in prison and a maximum $1 million fine. Cebull set sentencing for May 26 and continued Paul’s release.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

W.Va. bank employee charged with embezzlement

An 18-year employee of Huntington Bank who collected vault deposits has been charged with embezzlement.
Authorities say they're not sure how much money was stolen, but it's more than $1,000.
A criminal complaint says 36-year-old Katina Dawn Sweitzer of Fairview collected money delivered by an armored car. Authorities discovered the thefts in January when West Virginia University reported several outstanding deposits.
The complaint also says Sweitzer confessed the thefts to bank security officers and led investigators to her car, where they found bank bags containing deposit slips and checks from both WVU and Lowe's Corp.
A spokeswoman for Huntington Bank declined comment.
Sweitzer is free on $10,000 bond. It's unclear whether she has a lawyer.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fifth Third Bank employee in Michigan accused of embezzling $950,000 over five years

Federal prosecutors say a Fifth Third Bank employee stole $950,000 over five years from the bank's Rockford branch in a scheme that started by simply taking cash from the vault.

Prosecutors Tuesday filed criminal allegations against Amanda Renee Burns, charging that she embezzled the funds as a bank officer.
The federal report alleges Burns in March 2004 began removing cash from Fifth Third's vault at the Rockford branch and "used the money for personal benefit."
"She continued to remove cash in varying amounts from that time until Fifth Third learned of the scheme in May 2009," the report said.
Prosecutors also allege that Burns, to further the embezzlement scheme, falsified bank records and manipulated audits on multiple occasions.
Today's federal filing also seeks a forfeiture of property to get reimbursement for the lost funds.

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.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Brothers sentenced in Pa. Boeing loan scam

A former Boeing credit union executive will spend 28 months in prison for a million-dollar fraud scheme at the aerospace company's suburban Philadelphia plant.

Anthony Forte Jr. was also ordered on Monday to pay $1.2 million in restitution after pleading guilty in November to charges related to a kickback scam he ran at the Boeing Helicopters Credit Union.
Prosecutors say Forte used his job as a credit union vice president to obtain kickbacks on $20,000 loans given to unqualified applicants.
Forte's brother David was also sentenced Monday for being middleman in the scheme. He received one day in prison plus restitution. A federal judge considered David Forte's diagnosis with a malignant brain tumor when deciding his sentence.
Anthony Forte is the current president of the United Aerospace Workers Local 1069.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

FORMER TEXAS BANK OPERATIONS SUPERVISOR PLEADS GUILTY TO STEALING FROM LOCAL BANK’S UTILITY FUNDS

Norma Vargas, 41, a former operations supervisor of a local bank, has pleaded guilty to defrauding her former employer of more than $190,000 during the last two years of her employment, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Vargas appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Scott Hacker late yesterday and pleaded guilty to bank fraud. She admitted to having used her position as the Operations Supervisor of International Bank of Commerce to divert $192,580.51 from two bank utility accounts into her personal savings account beginning in October 2007 until the scheme was discovered in early September 2009. Vargas was responsible for overseeing the utility accounts payable of all IBC branches. The accounts included an electricity utility bills account and a phone and data utility accounts payable. Judge Hacker recommended Vargas’ guilty plea be accepted by United States District Judge Micaela Alvarez.
At the time an internal bank audit discovered the suspicious activity, the bank recouped $10,464.64 from Vargas’ personal savings and checking accounts as partial restitution. During interviews with agents of the U.S. Secret Service, Vargas admitted to filling out the debit and deposits slips for more than 29 different transactions between October 2007 to August 2009, diverting money from the bank’s phone/data accounts payable and electricity accounts into her personal saving without the bank’s knowledge or authorization. As part of her agreement with the United States, Vargas has agreed to make full restitution of the balance owed to the bank -- $182,1115.87 -- and to withdraw the balance from her employee profit-sharing plan and trust in a lump sum to be allocated to meet that obligation. International Bank of Commerce is a federally insured depository bank headquartered in Laredo. An additional term of Vargas’ agreement with the United States requires Vargas agree to an order of prohibition from further participation with business associated with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
A conviction for bank fraud carries a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison and a fine of not more than $1 million. Sentencing is set for April 29, 2010. Vargas has been remanded to the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending her sentencing hearing.
The case was investigated by agents from the United States Secret Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Diana Song and James Ustynoski.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

FORMER TEXAS BANK EMPLOYEE SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR EMBEZZLEMENT

A former teller of First National Bank has been sentenced to prison for embezzling money from the bank, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Alan Gomez, 23, of McAllen and a former teller with First National Bank, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison this morning by United States District Judge Randy Crane. The sentence, which presents the maximum of the applicable guideline range is to be followed by a five-year-term of supervised release. Judge Crane also ordered Gomez pay $30,795.84 in restitution to First National Bank. After handing down the sentence, Judge Crane remanded Gomez to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service to begin serving his sentence.
Gomez pleaded guilty to embezzlement on April 1, 2009, admitting he used his position as a teller at the bank to embezzle approximately $40,000 in bank funds over a two-month period. Gomez stole differing amounts of money from his cash drawer at the beginning of the business day and then processed illegitimate cash-out transactions on his teller computer for the amount he stole. Gomez processed these transactions so that the balance on his teller computer corresponded with the amount of money in his drawer in the event his supervisor conducted a daytime audit. At the end of the business day, Gomez deleted the illegitimate cash-out transactions on his teller computer to conceal them from First National Bank’s overnight auditors. His scheme was eventually discovered and lead to an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and these charges.
Assistant United States Attorney Gregory S. Saikin prosecuted the case.