BANK TELLER SENTENCED FOR EMBEZZLING FROM CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS
Stole $144,908 from Elderly Bank Customers and a Restaurant’s Account, Failing to Pay at Least $30,000 in Taxes Owed on the Embezzled Funds
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Irene Quansah, age 37, of Germantown, Maryland, today to two years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for embezzlement and income tax evasion. Judge Grimm also entered an order that Quansah forfeit and pay restitution of $144,908.33 to the victim bank and $30,000 to the IRS.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Kelly of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.
“Ms. Quansah’s embezzlement scheme to steal from her employer’s customer bank accounts was illegal and her act of deliberately underreporting her embezzlement income on her federal tax returns is unlawful,” said Thomas J. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington DC Field Office. “IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice those that abuse their positions of trust and steal from innocent victims. Today’s sentencing is a reminder that there are detrimental consequences for this type of criminal behavior.”
According to her plea, from November 2010 to July 2012 Quansah used her position as a teller coordinator at a bank to fraudulently withdraw funds from customers’ accounts and fail to deposit customer funds.
Specifically, on at least 100 occasions Quansah removed cash from cash deposits made by a restaurant at an ATM, stealing a total of $35,696.29. On December 28, 2010, she withdrew $10,000 from the account of an elderly woman, returning the money from funds drawn off of her teller vault only after the customer complained to bank officials about the unauthorized withdrawal. On five occasions from December 2010 to April 2011, Quansah withdrew a total of $11,550 from another elderly woman’s account, falsely noting that the fraudulent withdrawals were done at the customer’s request.
In February 2011, the daughter of a third elderly woman presented savings bonds to Quansah to redeem and deposit the proceeds into the elderly mother’s account. Quansah told the daughter that she needed to leave the bonds with her so that Quansah could redeem them over the next few months. Quansah, however, deposited only a portion of the proceeds of the bonds into the customer’s account, stealing at least $9,975.48. Similarly, in September 2011 Quansah was asked to redeem savings bonds valued at $25,179.48 and deposit the proceeds into another elderly woman’s account, but Quansah deposited only $13,342.92, retaining the remainder for her own benefit.
On nine occasions from September 2011 to March 2012, Quansah stole a total of $65,850 from an elderly couple’s account, again falsely noting that the withdrawals were made at the couple’s request. After the elderly man complained to bank officials about these unauthorized withdrawals, Quansah refunded the account using funds drawn off of a friend’s line of credit. About an hour later, Quansah debited her teller vault to repay her friend’s line of credit.
On August 1, 2012 the bank made a surprise cash audit of Quansah’s cash drawer and teller vault which revealed a shortage of $87,900. Quansah admitted to taking the money.
The total amount Quansah embezzled was $144,908.33. She did not report any of the embezzled funds to the IRS on her tax returns and thus owed between $30,000 and $80,000 for underreporting her income.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christen A. Sproule and Kelly O'Connell Hayes, who prosecuted the case.