Former Employee Of Bon-Ton Stores Foundation
Charged With $1.2 Million Mail Fraud And Money Laundering
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced the indictment of a former employee of the Bon-Ton Stores Foundation for mail fraud and money laundering that robbed the Foundation of more than $1.2 million. Christine S. DeJuliis, age 51, of Felton, PA, was charged in a six-count indictment handed up by the Grand Jury sitting in Harrisburg Wednesday.
According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, DeJuliis is charged with five counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering covering a period from as early as January 2003 until July 2009. The charges stem from an investigation conducted by the U.S. Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation based on information received from the Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.
The investigation revealed that DeJuliis, hired by the Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., in 1999, worked in an administrative capacity for the head of the Bon-Ton Stores Foundation, a charitable organization established by the Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.
DeJuliis’s duties involved much of the day-to-day operation of the Foundation. DeJuliis allegedly created fictitious businesses with bank accounts and then devised a scheme to have the Foundation appear to award grants to the businesses. The grant money was put into the fictitious accounts controlled by DeJuliis and she allegedly caused the money to be taken out of those accounts and placed into her personal accounts. Over the period charged in the Indictment, DeJuliis allegedly defrauded the Foundation of more than $1.2 million.
The Indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation stating the Government’s intent to forfeit at least $1,282,885 traceable to the crime.
Officials at the Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., and the Bon-Ton Stores Foundation were cooperative with the investigation. DeJuliis was fired from the Foundation as soon as her conduct was discovered by the company in July 2009.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James T. Clancy.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
In this particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 20 years’ imprisonment on each mail fraud charge, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. The money laundering charge also subjects DeJuliis to a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of the greater of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering transactions. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.