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Monday, June 10, 2013

2 indicted for bank fraud

A federal grand jury has indicted two suspects in a three-count indictment centered around allegedly defrauding banks through forgery to the tune of more than $100,000.

Angela D. Bryant and Timothy Shane Bryant are both facing bank fraud and embezzlement of government funds charges. Angela D. Bryant also is charged with unauthorized use of another’s signature. All charges stem from alleged incidents in 2011.

The indictment’s notice of intent to seek criminal forfeiture asks for a monetary judgment “including, but not limited to” $113,713.09.

The document states Angela D. Bryant was a bookkeeper for an unnamed property management company that manages 11 apartment complexes as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Housing and Community Facilities Program.

The program provides funding for low-income persons and the elderly.

“Low interest RRH (Rural Rental Housing) loans are made by the USDA-RD to individuals, non-profits, trust associations and state/local agencies, to provide housing under the USDA-RD,” the indictment states. “... In addition to the apartment complex and the land constituting the site of the RRH apartment complex, all income derived from the operation of the RRH is held as security by USDA-RD for the RRH loan.”

The loan agreement also requires the borrower must maintain bank accounts in accordance with USDA rules and that the USDA-RD controls and supervises the accounts, according to the indictment.

The indictment accuses Angela D. Bryant of “systematically” forging signatures on checks from the USDA accounts of the management business, making them payable to Timothy Bryant.

“To conceal the scheme to defraud, the defendant ... intercepted the bank statements for the bank accounts ... then altered these statements to conceal the theft from these accounts,” the indictment charges.

She also is charged with unlawfully using a means of identification of another person.

Another woman was sentenced last year in a similar scheme from the same business following a guilty plea last year.

Cynthia Cooley pleaded guilty Oct. 6 to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett sentenced Cooley to five years of supervised release following her prison term and $507,710 in restitution, according to a press release.

Cooley only pleaded to two of five counts on which she was indicted, entering a plea agreement when she did so.

Her indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in June, also charges her with two additional counts of bank fraud and one count of theft of public money. The indictment said the illegal activity took place from 2008 to 2010.

She also used blank checks from USDA accounts, intercepted bank statements and altered them before the owner saw the paperwork

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