News and Press Releases

Caretaker Sentenced to 57 Months for Stealing Nearly $572,000 from Elderly Bealeton Couple

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Denise Ann Southerland, 46, of Bealeton, Va., was sentenced today to 57 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for stealing nearly $572,000 from an elderly couple while working for them as their personal assistant. 

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and David E. Beach, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee.

            Southerland began working as a caretaker for an elderly couple living in Bealeton, Va., in 2004 and was paid $8 an hour for her work, which included bank account bookkeeping.  From September 2005 through March 2007, Southerland stole $571,811 from the couple by writing unauthorized checks from their accounts to herself or for her benefit, transferring funds in their accounts and the proceeds of a certificate of deposit in their name to herself, and fraudulently obtaining title to a piece of property they owned and then defaulting on a loan she had collateralized with that property.

            Court documents state that Southerland used the proceeds of the fraud to fund her lifestyle, including purchasing vehicles, a boat, and paying off gambling debts.

            Southerland pled guilty to bank fraud on Dec. 2, 2010, and today was ordered to pay $571,811.43 in restitution.

            This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.  Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy D. Belevetz and Paul Nathanson prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

 

 

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