Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Virginia Woman Pleads Guilty To Bank Fraud In Connection With $155K Embezzlement

From The Hopewell News on 5.13.13:


Shannon S. Hamilton of Prince George pleaded guilty May 1 to one count of bank fraud but admitted to numerous victims in signing the agreement.

She was branch manager at the South Park branch of SunTrust Bank in Colonial Heights from February 2008 until November 2011.

She used her position at the bank to take money from clients through a series of secret and unauthorized transactions using certificates of deposit and checking accounts.

In the scheme, Hamilton redeemed the certificates of deposit or withdrew money from them without clients’ knowledge. She used the money for personal purposes such as repaying a 401K loan and for living expenses and to perpetuate the scheme by repaying previous victims by buying new CDs or returning funds that were removed.

Court documents say she violated several internal bank rules by ordering tellers to make withdrawals from customers’ accounts without them being present, redeeming CDs using cash rather than bank-issued checks, or forged endorsements on the checks that were issued. She also changed the addresses listed for the accounts to the bank’s address so customers would not see the unauthorized transactions on statements.

Internal bank procedures say that the owner of a certificate of deposit must be present to redeem it. All statements must be sent to the client’s home address and not the bank address.

In all, she took money from 12 clients and caused the bank to lose $155,000.

Note: Hamilton is 43 years old.

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