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CONTACT: Fred Alverson
Public Affairs Officer
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COLUMBUS – Gayle J. Tatman, 59, of Columbus pleaded guilty in United States District Court here to one count of bank fraud for diverting $212,760.65 in donations intended for the Grove City Food Pantry and Emergency Services, Inc. for her personal use between 2002 and 2009. Tatman was the financial secretary of the food pantry during that time.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Dave Barrick, Acting Resident Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, and Grove City Police Chief G. Joseph Wise announced the plea entered today before U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.

According to a statement of facts read by a Secret Service agent during Tatman’s plea hearing, trustees of the Food Pantry raised questions about two donations that were made in December 2008 but that did not show up on monthly financial statements Tatman had prepared.  The president of the board of trustees obtained a copy of a cancelled check for one of the donations, and discovered the check had been deposited to an open bank account in the name of the food pantry.  Prior to this discovery, the trustees believed this account had been closed several years before.

Investigation revealed that Defendant Tatman used several means as part of her scheme to divert money for her personal expenses from multiple accounts owned by the Grove City Food Pantry and Emergency Services at more than one bank. She used one account at Huntington National Bank to pay her personal expenses.  She also forged checks drawn on other bank accounts to pay her creditors, which forged checks she concealed from the Food Pantry by falsifying its financial records.

Bank fraud has no minimum sentence, but carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. She also agreed to make restitution to the Grove City Food Pantry and Emergency Services. Judge Marbley will set a date for sentencing.

Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by Secret Service agents and Grove City Police detectives who conducted the investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dale E. Williams, Jr., who is prosecuting the case.



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