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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


SEPTEMBER 5, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


FORMER TRANSAMERICA EMPLOYEE SENTENCED

FOR $971,000 WIRE FRAUD


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Grandview, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for a wire fraud scheme that resulted in a $971,000 loss to her employer, Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company.


             Patricia D. Williams, 51, of Grandview, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr., this morning to two years and six months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Williams to pay $971,384 in restitution.


             On May 17, 2007, Williams pleaded guilty to wire fraud. Williams was formerly employed as a commissions administrator by Transamerica. Her responsibilities included locating sales agents who were owed sales commission payments but could not be found, as well as performing manual adjustments to commission records for the purpose of paying agents the correct amount of commission.


             Williams admitted that she utilized three separate schemes from June 28, 1999, through July 17, 2004, to defraud Transamerica. In each of those schemes, Williams manipulated Transamerica’s database to make material and false representations that persons were entitled to certain monies from Transamerica. Williams used her systems access to transfer credits from unlocatable agents’ commission statements and to generate fictitious “renewal commission” statements, which were then paid into bank accounts under her control. Modification of agent status from active to unlocatable allowed her to redirect commission statements to her disposition so that her fraudulent activities were hidden from others in her department.


             For example, on June 28, 1999, Williams caused Transamerica to issue a $9,872 check to her son-in-law, which was deposited into a checking account he opened at her behest. Although the check was purportedly for payment of sales commissions, her son-in-law has never been an employee of Transamerica and was due no money from Transamerica.


             On Aug. 28, 1999, Williams altered direct deposit information on the commission account of a former insurance broker, then caused various funds from Transamerica’s unclaimed commission accounts to be transferred into the commission account of the former broker. From Aug. 28, 1999, through Oct. 27, 2000, Williams caused $218,078 in electronic funds transfers to be made from that account to the bank account opened by her son-in-law at her behest.


             From Jan. 29, 2001, through July 28, 2004, Williams manipulated the commission account of another former insurance broker in order to cause $743,433 to be credited to that account and sent by electronic transfers to bank accounts she controlled, and otherwise secured the proceeds for her own personal use and benefit. In an effort to disguise her conversion of those funds, Williams modified the account information by changing the Social Security number and the name on the account to the same name as one of her children.


            This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Ketchmark. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html