Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Wanda Henderson, age 56, of Westover, Maryland, today to 18 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for embezzlement by a bank employee. Judge Hollander also ordered Henderson to pay restitution of $456,665.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to Henderson’s plea agreement, she was the Vice-President and Executive Assistant to the President of Hebron Savings Bank and had access to the Bank’s vault, the computer system and the Bank’s loan files.
Beginning in approximately 2005, and continuing until April, 2011, Henderson embezzled money from the bank by creating fraudulent loan applications and fraudulent loan and line of credit accounts at the bank in her name and in the names of family members. Henderson forged the signatures of various bank officials, including the President, as the approving loan officer on the applications. Henderson also forged the initials of other bank employees on paperwork that authorized the transfer of the loan proceeds into Henderson’s personal checking account or the checking account of a family member.
Henderson concealed the fraudulent loans from bank officials by manipulating and changing data in the bank records. In particular, Henderson altered the origination dates for the fraudulent loans so that they did not appear on the monthly New Loan Reports and removed the fraudulent loans from the bank’s quarterly Large Borrowers’ Reports.
As the loans became due, Henderson obtained new fraudulent loans by again creating accounts in the bank computer system and forging approval signatures of other bank officials. By using the proceeds from the new loans to pay off the previous loans, Henderson was able to continue the scheme until April 2011.
Henderson obtained 20 fraudulent loans for herself or for members of her family by forging signatures and manipulating bank records. The total unpaid principal balance on the fraudulent loans is $682,236.77 and of that amount, over $456,000 has gone into default.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin, who prosecuted the case.