Former Bank Employee Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Embezzlement

June 1, 2009

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Donna L. Gatewood, age 43, of Baltimore, today to 15 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for embezzlement by a bank employee, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Motz also ordered Gatewood to pay restitution of $154,521.74.

According to her guilty plea, Gatewood was employed as an accounting clerk at a bank from about October, 1998 until September, 2007 and was responsible for reconciling transactions in the bank’s general ledger and suspense accounts. In or before March of 2006, Gatewood discovered that it was possible for her to make deposits into her own personal checking account at the bank from the suspense accounts. Gatewood began taking monies from the bank’s suspense accounts by transferring funds from those accounts into her checking account, using different teller computers, after the tellers had already logged into the system. Gatewood used the funds to pay for personal items and expenses.

In the summer of 2007, officials at the bank noticed irregularities in the suspense accounts and repeatedly asked Gatewood to provide an explanation. Gatewood promised to provide the information but then did not do so. On September 12, 2007, a bank official again asked for the information and again, Gatewood promised to provide an explanation. The following day Gatewood did not appear for work. Bank officials then discovered that there had been numerous transfers of funds from the bank’s suspense accounts into Gatewood’s personal checking account between April 2006 and August 31, 2007. Shortly after discovering these actions by Gatewood, the bank terminated her employment. After terminating Gatewood, the bank also discovered that Gatewood had overdrawn her checking account. In all, the bank incurred a total loss of $154,521.74 from Gatewood’s embezzlement from the suspense accounts and the still unpaid overdrafts in Gatewood’s checking account.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its investigative work and commended Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin, who prosecuted the case.



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