March 30, 2010
KATY WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD
(HOUSTON) - Bisa Abena Northern has pleaded guilty to wire fraud, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
Northern, 32, of Katy, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt this morning. She admitted to orchestrating a scheme to transfer money from accounts belonging to two victims to accounts she opened at Compass Bank in Houston in the victims’ names after filing certificates of operation under an assumed name in Harris County in the names of both victims. As part of the scheme, Northern or someone she associated with, posed as the victims and caused funds to be transferred from annuity accounts belonging to the victims to the Compass Bank accounts. After $52,000 was transferred from one victim’s annuity account, Northern made seven withdrawals ranging from $5,000 to $8,000 over the course of four consecutive business days at four branch locations in the Houston area. Northern, or someone she associated with, also succeeded in having $53,765.43 transferred from the second victim’s annuity account to Compass Bank. However, Compass Bank froze those funds before they could be withdrawn. The funds were returned to the second victim.
Northern faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 at her sentencing scheduled for June 28, 2010.
The Houston field office of the United States Secret Service conducted the investigation leading to the charges. Assistant United States Attorney Stephen L. Corso is prosecuting the case.
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