Former Louisville Employee of National Charity Guilty Of Embezzeling At Least $364,000
– Allegedly forged checks to buy cars and pay for trips
– Investigation uncovered additional $164,000 in embezzled funds
LOUISVILLE, KY- The former employee of a national charity has pled guilty to sixteen charges of making and possessing counterfeit securities today, in U.S. District Court, before Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley announced David J. Hale, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.
According to the plea agreement from May 2008 through November 2011 Mary K. Montfort, age 53, of Jefferson County, Kentucky, stole approximately $364,135.36 from the Little Sisters of the Poor located in Louisville, Kentucky.
“Stealing from a charity whose mission is to help the poor is a crime that will not go unpunished,” stated U.S. Attorney Hale. “This is an example of local and federal investigators working with my office to ensure a successful prosecution.”
In court today, Montfort admitted that while working as bookkeeper for the Louisville chapter of the national charity, she fraudulently issued checks payable to herself and then forged the signatures of the authorized employees. During the scheme to defraud Little Sisters of the Poor, Montfort knowingly engaged in multiple monetary transactions exceeding $10,000, including eight checks ranging in amounts from $12,632.18 to $29,465.64.
According to an affidavit attached to a Federal Complaint, November 3, 2011 a representative from Montfort’s bank contacted Little Sisters of the Poor to verify a check for $14,742.46 that was deposited into the account of Kenneth Montfort. The check was determined to be fraudulent and an initial investigation found 43 checks totaling $200,294.84 made payable to “K. Montfort” were deposited into the same account and all had forged authorizing signatures. A further investigation since the Information, has uncovered an additional $164,000 in fraudulently issued checks.
Montfort began her employment with the charity in December 2005 and allegedly told police that in 2007 she began fraudulently issuing checks from Little Sisters of the Poor by means of forging authorized signatures and depositing the funds into her husband’s bank account. Montfort stated the money was used to pay her bills, travel, and pay her daughter’s rent. Montfort further stated in August of 2009 she purchased a 2010 Ford Fusion for approximately $27,000 using a cashier’s check that was fraudulently funded by money from her employer and that in 2010 she purchased a 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis for approximately $17,000 with money fraudulently obtained from her employer. As part of the investigation seizure warrants were executed against the two vehicles, which are now in the possession of law enforcement.
At sentencing, Montfort faces 160 years in prison, a combined maximum fine of $4,000,000, and a three year term of supervised release.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bryan Calhoun and is being investigated by the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.
Montfort is scheduled to be sentenced on July 2, 2012 at 11 a.m. in U.S. District Court, Louisville, Kentucky.