News and Press Releases

Louisville Woman Sentenced To 27 Months In Prison For Embezzling At Least $364,000 From A National Charity

– Forged checks to buy cars and pay for trips
– Ordered to pay full restitution

September 1, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The former employee of a national charity was sentenced today in U.S. Federal Court by Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley to 27 months in prison followed by three years supervised release for embezzling funds from Little Sisters of the Poor located in Louisville, Kentucky announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Mary K. Montfort, age 53, of Jefferson County, Kentucky pled guilty on April 2, 2012, to sixteen charges of making and possessing counterfeit securities. According to the plea agreement, from May 2008 through November 2011 Montfort stole approximately $364,135.36 from the Little Sisters of the Poor.

“What made this crime particularly reprehensible is the defendant’s theft from a charity that relies solely upon charitable donations to care for the indigent and aged,” stated U.S. Attorney Hale. “Mrs. Montfort violated the trust that the Sisters and the community placed in her. She placed her self-interest before the interests of the neediest and most helpless among us. The punishment meted out today by the Court is well deserved.”

“We view money laundering as “tax evasion in progress” because the offenders are essentially trying to hide their ill-gotten gains and consequently the proceeds go untaxed,” stated Christopher Henry, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation-Nashville Field Office. “Unfortunately some of the neediest in this community suffered because funds meant for this charity’s mission were stolen. IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to have lent our financial expertise to tracking down the missing funds.”

In court, 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, on 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.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bryan Calhoun and was investigated by the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.

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