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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Controller of Small Business Charged with Stealing Over $229,000

BOSTON – A Boston woman was charged today in federal court in Boston with bank fraud in connection with the embezzlement of over $229,000 from a small business that employed her.

Kelly A. Lynch, 40, was charged by Information with one count of bank fraud. In February 2018, Lynch was arrested and charged by criminal complaint and was released on conditions.

According to court documents, Lynch was hired in April 2017 as the controller of a small company in a Boston suburb. Lynch’s duties included managing incoming invoices, paying bills by check and wire transfer, bookkeeping, and financial account maintenance. As a result, Lynch had access to the company’s checkbook, bookkeeping/accounting software (QuickBooks), and online bank accounts.

From April 2017 until her termination in January 2018, Lynch stole funds from the business for her personal use. Specifically, Lynch wrote unauthorized checks to herself using the company checkbook from the company’s bank account. Some of the checks were pre-signed, blank checks that one of the founders had signed with the intention that Lynch would later use them for business purposes. After she had used those checks, Lynch began signing the company checks herself, forging the signature. At times, Lynch also added an entry to the memo line to indicate that the funds were for “Consulting Fees,” but as a salaried employee, Lynch was not entitled to consulting fees. Lynch then endorsed the checks she wrote to herself and – without authorization and for no business purpose - deposited them in her personal bank account. In total, Lynch stole approximately $141,845 from the company’s bank account in this manner.

During approximately the same time period, Lynch repeatedly logged onto the company’s online bank account and directed that payments be made via ACH transfer to her personal credit cards. As a result, Lynch stole another $87,243 from the company’s bank account. 

The charge of bank fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $1 million, restitution and forfeiture. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Harman Burkart, Chief of Lelling’s Cybercrimes Unit, is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Financial Fraud
Updated May 31, 2018