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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Shelby County Woman Indicted for $328,000 Bank Fraud Embezzlement Scheme

Also Charged with Misusing a Social Security Number, Aggravated Identity Theft, Witness Tampering and Filing False Tax Returns

BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today charged a Shelby County woman in connection with a $328,000 bank fraud embezzlement scheme, as well as with aggravated identity theft, witness tampering, misusing a Social Security number and filing false tax returns, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, U.S. Postal Inspector Frank Dyer, and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot.

A 47-count superseding indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges REBECCA ANN “BECKY” NORTON, 46, with 30 bank fraud counts, 12 aggravated identity theft counts, three counts of filing false tax returns, and one count each of misusing a Social Security number and witness tampering. The superseding indictment expands charges returned against Norton in a June indictment.

Norton worked as office manager and bookkeeper for Total Fire Protection in Alabaster. Between August 2013 and August 2015, she used a variety of methods to fraudulently take the $328,000 from bank accounts held by Total Fire Protection and related companies, according to the July indictment.

Norton committed aggravated identity theft by using personal identification information of several other individuals to facilitate her fraud, according to the indictment. It also charges that once Norton knew she was under federal and state investigation, she tried to contact two of her victims to convince them not to pursue criminal charges against her.

The superseding indictment also charges that, between 2011 and 2012, Norton drew unemployment benefits from the State of Alabama under another person’s Social Security number, thereby misusing that Social Security number and committing aggravated identity theft against that person.

Finally, the superseding indictment charges that Norton filed false federal income tax returns for 2010, 2013 and 2014 by underreporting her taxable income during each relevant year.

If convicted, Norton faces maximum prison sentences of 30 years for each bank fraud count, 20 years for witness tampering, five years for misuse of a Social Security number, and three years for each count of filing a false tax return. In addition to these sentences, Norton faces a mandatory two years in prison for each aggravated identity theft conviction.

The Postal Inspection Service and IRS Criminal Investigation Division investigated the case, with assistance from the Alabaster Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa Atwood and John B. Ward are prosecuting the case.

An indictment contains only charges. The defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

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Updated July 27, 2016