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Press Release

Former Financial Assistant of Architectural Firm Pleads Guilty to Forgery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

Forged 83 company checks totaling over $469,000

NORFOLK, Va. – Katherine Albert-McNaughton, 36, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to one count of making forged securities and two counts of engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Douglas F. Mease, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leonard.

Albert-McNaughton was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 19, 2015.  She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each of the three counts when she is sentenced on September 3, 2015. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

According to a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Albert-McNaughton was employed as a financial assistant by HBA Architecture & Interior Design, Inc., a business located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Between October 2011 and June 2014, Albert-McNaughton forged the signature of a principal of HBA Architecture & Interior Design, Inc. on 83 company checks, totaling $469,831.89.  She deposited all of the forged checks into bank accounts that she maintained and used the money for her own personal benefit, including vacations, shopping, plane tickets, photography, and the purchase of vehicles, concert and professional football tickets.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan M. Salsbury is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:15cr31.

Updated May 12, 2015