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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 17, 2022

Farmington Woman Sentenced to Prison for Stealing $103K from Bank Customer

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LEE BLANCHETTE, 59, of Farmington, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for stealing more than $100,000 from a customer of the bank where she was employed.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Blanchette was employed by Bank of America as a relationship manager.  As a relationship manager, Blanchette had the authority to cause temporary ATM cards to be activated and assigned to a customer’s account.  Between August 2014 and March 2016, Blanchette caused multiple temporary ATM cards to be activated for bank accounts of a customer who Blanchette knew was experiencing cognitive decline.  Without the customer’s authorization, Blanchette used the temporary ATM cards to withdraw significant funds from the customer’s accounts, keeping a significant portion for her own benefit, and causing a loss of $103,080.

Judge Meyer ordered Blanchette to pay full restitution to Bank of America, which covered the victim’s losses.

On May 25, 2021, Blanchette pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud.

Blanchette, who is released on bond, is required to report to prison on April 4.

This matter was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer R. Laraia.

The Justice Department has established a National Elder Fraud Hotline to provide services to seniors who may be victims of financial fraud.  The Hotline is staffed by experienced case managers who can provide personalized support to callers.  Case managers assist callers with reporting the suspected fraud to relevant agencies and by providing resources and referrals to other appropriate services as needed.  When applicable, case managers will complete a complaint form with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) for Internet-facilitated crimes and submit a consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission on behalf of the caller.  The Hotline’s toll-free number is 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311).  For more information, please visit: https://ovc.ojp.gov/program/stop-elder-fraud/providing-help-restoring-hope.

Topic(s): 
Elder Justice
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated February 17, 2022