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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Credit union head from East Alton admits embezzlement

 The former president of a credit union pleaded guilty to bank fraud and admitted using his bank position to cover up his theft from a trade association, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Paul C. Smith, 54, of East Alton, began working for the Laclede Community Credit Union in November 1977 and resigned as president on June 29, 2012, prosecutors said.

He was also treasurer of a credit union trade association.

Prosecutors say Smith used the association's credit card to get cash and make purchases totaling $58,286 from 2007 to 2012, then used the bank's computers to conceal the theft and ensure that the expenses would not be incurred by the association.

Smith was indicted Nov. 20 and pleaded guilty Monday.

Greenacres woman charged in bank fraud scheme


Lisa Ollis, 38, of Greenacres, has been charged with grand theft, forgery and organized scheme to defraud. She was arrested Tuesday and released Wednesday afternoon after posting $10,000 bond.
Two other women involved have been charged.
The scheme went into motion in October 2011, according to the report. Ollis told police that she met with a man who said he knew a TD Bank employee that could “take care of (her)”.
On October 24, Ollis went to a TD Bank at 1601 W. Boynton Beach Blvd., where she was expected to cash a check and bring the man money. She withdrew $53,281 that day, according to the report. On a separate occasion, she withdrew $9,850.
According to the report, the money was stolen from a woman’s inactive account — it had gone dormant the previous September. According to the report, Islande Dort, who was arrested June 13 as a suspect in the case and posted bond that same day, deposited $200 into the account on October 20, 2011, reactivating it.
After Dort’s original deposit, a total of $87,581 was withdrawn from the victim’s account, according to the affidavit.
Jessica Cruz-Torres, a suspect in the scheme who was arrested June 10 and posted bond the same day, said that during one withdrawal, she accompanied Ollis. She was told to hand two pieces of paper to a bank employee, who in return gave her an envelope with cash and checks amounting to either $500 or $700. Cruz-Torres identified Ollis in a surveillance video of her withdrawals.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ex-vice president of Grand Junction bank pleads guilty to theft; audit said $650,000 missing

A former vice president at a Grand Junction bank has pleaded guilty to theft and other charges after an audit determined $650,000 had been embezzled.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports (http://tinyurl.com/o5r87lm ) 53-year-old Anna Jones entered her plea Tuesday. She faces up to 12 years in prison at her Sept. 11 sentencing hearing.

She pleaded guilty to felony theft of more than $20,000, trespassing and violating probation.

Jones supervised tellers at a branch of the Bank of Colorado. Bank officials alerted police in March 2011 after the audit determined money was missing, and Jones was arrested in November 2012.

The audit showed the embezzlement began in April 2009.

A court document said Jones had two mortgages, two vehicle loans and eight credit cards.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Kansas City woman charged with embezzling nearly $3 million, causing company to close

 A Kansas City woman is charged with embezzling nearly $3 million from a bank and a company that had to close after declaring bankruptcy.
A federal grand jury indicted 52-year-old Irene Marie Brooner on Tuesday on several counts of wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. She made her initial court appearance Tuesday.
Prosecutors say Brooner embezzled close to $2 million while working for Galvmet Inc., a sheet metal fabrication and steel service company that closed earlier this year. She also allegedly embezzled $1.1 million from a bank.
The fraud allegedly occurred for a decade. Prosecutors say Brooner used the money for personal expenses and lavish living, including remodeling and stocking a basement bar in her home, travel, jewelry and spa visits

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Former bank officer owes $45K

A former officer at a Durant bank was sentenced Tuesday to eight months of home detention after pleading guilty to embezzlement. Daniel James Abbott, 32, also must pay more than $45,000 in restitution. Abbott was an officer at Durant’s First National Bank and Trust between October 2011 and September 2013 when he took the money, according to prosecutors. The Calera resident, who pleaded guilty in May, also will be on probation for three years.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced that DANIEL JAMES ABBOTT, age 32, of Calera, Oklahoma, was sentenced to 3 years of probation, 8 months of home detention and was ordered to pay $45,524.47 in restitution for Embezzlement By Bank Officer Or Employee, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 656.
The charge arose from an investigation by the Durant Police Department and the United States Secret Service. The defendant pled guilty in March 2014.


The Information alleged that from on or about October 26, 2011 to on or about September 18, 2013, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the defendant, being an officer and employee of the First United Bank and Trust, Durant, Oklahoma, a bank whose deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, with intent to injure and defraud First United Bank and Trust, willfully misapplied and embezzled the moneys, funds and assets belonging to said bank and entrusted to the custody and care of the defendant as an officer and employee in an amount exceeding $1,000.00.


The Honorable Ronald A. White, District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, presided over the hearing.

Assistant United States Attorney Chris Wilson represented the United States.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Former Bank Employee in Neosho County Sentenced for Embezzling More than $278,000

  A former employee of a bank in Neosho County was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in federal prison for embezzling more than $278,000 from the bank and two customers.

  U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said 42 year old Sherrie Landell of Erie pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement by a bank employee. In her plea, she admitted that from September 2007 to May 2013 she embezzled from Exchange State Bank.  Landell worked in the bank’s branch in St. Paul.   She was responsible for maintaining the bank’s general ledger account and an account designated for accounts receivable on certificates of deposit. Money she stole included interest due on certificates of deposit. She fraudulently altered the bank’s records to conceal the crime. The shortage was discovered during a bank regulatory exam and subsequent audit by an independent accounting firm in 2013.  Grissom commended the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith for their work on the case.

Bank in Hot Water for Allegedly Taking Part in Embezzling Scheme

A California bank is in hot water for allegedly taking part in an embezzlement scheme.

The First California Bank handled accounts of Kinde Durkee, a former campaign treasurer for several high-profile Democratic politicians.

Authorities say Durkee had been at the center of an elaborate shell game, regularly shifting money between her clients' accounts while pocketing a few million dollars.

Durkee pleaded guilty to five counts of mail fraud last year and was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison.

Officially, the bank acknowledges no wrongdoing, while agreeing to the settlement.

According to reports, that settlement is $4 million with $2 million going to the campaign account of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

 A California bank that handled the accounts of a former campaign treasurer for several high-profile Democratic politicians has agreed to pay $4 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the bank should have known the treasurer was embezzling money, attorneys for the politicians and the bank said Thursday.

The agreement reached with First California Bank includes $2 million for the campaign account of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. She estimated that she had lost $4.5 million when it was revealed that her longtime treasurer, Kinde Durkee, had been carrying on an elaborate shell game in which she regularly shifted money between her clients’ accounts while she siphoned off millions of dollars.

Durkee pleaded guilty to five counts of mail fraud last year and was sentenced to more than eight years in prison. She was ordered to pay $10.5 million in restitution, even though she had few assets.

Feinstein and several other lawmakers and political committees sued First California Bank, alleging there was a “pervasive pattern of misconduct” and that the bank was at the heart of Durkee’s illegal transfers.

Joe Cotchett, who represented Feinstein, said the attorneys had evidence that bank employees knew about the fraud based on emails and other correspondence they were able to obtain.

“We finally got the hard drive from the FBI. We were able to look at that and get emails that certainly tracked the allegations we made,” he said.

Thomas Nolan, an attorney who represented First California Bank, said the bank does not acknowledge any wrongdoing but said it agreed to the settlement to avoid a costly and time-consuming lawsuit.

“The bank certainly does not admit that they were culpable, engaged in any wrongdoing, or had any knowledge of fraudulent wrongdoing,” he said in an interview.

The settlement has not yet been filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court but was presented to a judge this week, the attorney said.

Attorney Wylie Aitken, who represented clients that include Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, and Reps. Linda and Loretta Sanchez, who are sisters, said bank officials overlooked several red flags because they didn’t want to lose Durkee’s business. That included illegal transfers between federal and state campaign accounts.

“She was one of their personal customers; they were giving her favors for being one of their better depositors of monies,” he said.

Aitken said the bank continued to pay funds even when Durkee’s checks bounced.

The $4 million settlement is being distributed to candidates based on their losses. Other recipients include campaign committees for:

• State Sen. Lou Correa, $378,000.

• Former state Assemblyman Jose Solorio, who is running for state Senate, $330,000.

• Rep. Loretta Sanchez, $175,000.

• Rep. Linda Sanchez, $150,000.

• National Popular Vote, $600,000.