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Press Release

Great Bend, Pennsylvania Woman Charged In Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Joann Palmatier, age 54, of Great Bend, Pennsylvania, was charged by felony criminal information with mail fraud.


According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the information alleges that Palmatier was employed as a bookkeeper for a custom machine shop in Great Bend, responsible for managing the company’s finances, including paying vendor bills, taxes and payroll. Palmatier is accused of stealing approximately $95,000 of her employer’s money and, among other things, paying her own bills by mailing company checks to her creditors.


The United States also filed a plea agreement, which is subject to the approval of the Court, wherein it is indicated that Palmatier intends to plead guilty to the charges when she appears in federal court for her arraignment.


The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd K. Hinkley is prosecuting the case.


Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.


A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.


The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated March 30, 2017

Financial Fraud