Cleveland Heights Man Sentenced to Prison and Ordered to Pay $177k in Restitution for Credit Card Fraud Scheme
U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman announced today that Audrey Ivers Whitworth, 26, of Rittman, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Donald C. Nugent to 36 months of prison and two years of supervised release after she pleaded guilty to one count of bank embezzlement and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to the indictment, from June 23, 2017, to August 5, 2019, while Whitworth was employed as a branch manager of a federally-insured bank, she embezzled approximately $84,000 by making unauthorized withdrawals from the account of an 84-year-old customer with dementia.
“This defendant stole over $80,000 from an 84-year-old woman who was suffering with dementia, said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “This conduct is, quite simply, reprehensible and the severity of the defendant’s actions are reflected in this three-year prison sentence. Since it was founded 150 years ago, the Justice Department has been committed to protecting the most vulnerable among us, and our elderly friends, neighbors and loved ones are no exception.”
"This individual preyed upon and took advantage of an elderly person experiencing age related decline,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge, Eric B. Smith. “We all have people in our lives, many elderly - family, friends, neighbors, that we care for. We must pay special attention to our elderly population and hold individuals like Ms. Whitworth accountable for her despicable criminal behavior."
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Smithville Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Canton Resident Agency. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian McDonough.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of elder fraud and abuse, launched in October 2017 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the Elder Justice Initiative marshals federal, state and local resources to support and coordinate the Department’s enforcement and programmatic efforts to combat elder abuse, neglect, financial fraud, and scams that target our nation’s seniors. For more information about the Elder Justice Initiative, please visit https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice.