News and Press Releases

northland woman sentenced for $700,000 bank fraud scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August25 , 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for a bank fraud scheme in which she stole more than $700,000 from her employer.

Kim A. Brown, 46, of Kansas City-North, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to six years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Brown to pay $718,167 in restitution.

On Feb. 7, 2011, Brown pleaded guilty to 16 counts of bank fraud. Brown admitted that she wrote hundreds of unauthorized checks that were drawn on her employer’s bank account.

“Small business owners can be vulnerable to the schemes of trusted employees whom they consider friends,” Phillips said. “The best protection from this kind of fraud is to have adequate checks and balances in place. Even a mom-and-pop business with only a few employees needs to provide oversight for anyone involved in accounting or bookkeeping operations. Businesses are especially vulnerable when one employee both issues payments and reconciles company bank accounts.”

Brown was employed at Standard Sheet Metal, Inc., from 1998 to 2009, during which time she was promoted from receptionist to accounting and bookkeeping. Brown reconciled the business’s banking accounts and managed the accounts receivable.

Brown admitted that, between September 2002 and October 2009, she wrote at least 474 unauthorized checks, totaling $718,167, that were drawn on her employer’s bank account and deposited the funds into her own bank accounts.

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

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