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Friday, July 5, 2013

W.Va. bank manager who stole mostly from senior has pleaded guilty to embezzling $247K

A former manager of Huntington National Bank's Weston branch has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $247,000, mostly from senior citizens.

Fifty-one-year-old Deborah Radcliff of Weston appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate John Kaull in Clarksburg.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld says she pleaded guilty to embezzlement and one count of illegally structuring funds between July 2011 and November 2012.

Investigators say Radcliff cut cashier's checks various accounts then forged depositor's names and cashed them.

Ihlenfeld says the victims were older, between 56 and 90 years old. Only one was under 64.

Ihlenfeld says Radcliff made sure the checks were for less than $10,000 and therefore not subject to a reporting mechanism. She also cashed them on different days.

Radcliff faces up to 40 years and a $1.5 million fine when sentenced.

As part of the plea bargain, Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Parr agreed to recommend a lesser sentence if he is convinced that Radcliff accepts responsibility for her actions.
The court is not bound by the government’s recommendations, according to the plea agreement.
Radcliff was branch manager of the Lewis County bank during the embezzlement, which occurred between July 1, 2011, and Nov. 5, 2012, according to court documents.
The amount embezzled came to $247,249, and the depositors whose accounts were affected ranged in age from 56 to 90, according to the documents.
Radcliff used her position “to issue or direct to be issued cashier’s checks from funds withdrawn from depositors’ accounts issued in the name of the depositor,” a federal grand jury found in May.
She “would take possession of the cashier’s check, forge the name of the depositor and cash the checks for her own personal benefit,” grand jurors alleged.
The structuring count alleges that Radcliff artificially kept bank transactions under $10,000 to evade reporting requirements.

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