Former Law Firm Bookkeeper Sentenced for Forging Over $500,000 in Checks
NORFOLK, Va. – Diana L. Former-Forston, 54, of Virginia Beach, Va., was sentenced today in Norfolk federal court to two years in prison, followed by a three year term of supervised release, for forging checks totaling more than half a million dollars on the account of Bennett and Zydron, P.C., the law firm where she formerly worked as an account manager and bookkeeper. She was ordered to make restitution to the law firm in the amount of $567,075.16.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia made the announcement after Former-Forston was sentenced by United States District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Farmer-Forston previously pled guilty to these charges on July 8, 2011.
According to court documents, Farmer-Forston forged the signature of a principal of Bennett and Zydron, P.C., on 210 checks totaling $567,075.16 that were drawn on a bank account of the law firm. She made fraudulent entries into the account ledger to make it appear that the checks had been issued for legitimate purposes related to the business of the firm, and deposited the forged checks into multiple accounts that she maintained at Navy Federal Credit Union. Farmer-Forston used the embezzled monies for her own benefit, including the funding of investment accounts, the purchases of a vehicle, electronic equipment and other items, the payment of her mortgage and other expenses, and lending money to a co-worker.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Virginia Beach Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Alan M. Salsbury prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.