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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Former Bank Teller Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Embezzle Money from Local Bank

BOSTON – A former teller at Lenox National Bank pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Springfield in connection with embezzling more than $375,000 from the bank and concealing the theft with false bank records.  

Melissa J. Scolforo, 47, of Lee, Mass., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to embezzle bank funds and make false entries in bank records.  U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Sept. 15, 2016. 

Scolforo was a teller at Lenox National Bank for 24 years.  From 2009 to November 2013, Scolforo and co-defendant Bernadine Powers took cash from the bank’s teller drawers and bank vaults and used the money for personal expenses including traveling, shopping, dining at restaurants, and paying household bills.  In addition, Powers made false entries in bank records to conceal their theft of $378,000 from the bank.

Earlier this month, Bernadine Powers, 40, of Becket, Mass., was indicted on the same charge.

The maximum sentence under the statute is five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Boston made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecution by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen L. Goodwin of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office.

Updated May 19, 2016