North Royalton woman charged with stealing $2 million from Catholic Charities
A North Royalton woman was charged in federal court for embezzling approximately $2 million from Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Cleveland, said Carole S. Rendon, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Office.
Michelle Medrick, 58, was charged via criminal information with bank fraud.
The information alleges that Medrick embezzled approximately $2 million from Catholic Charities in a scheme to defraud Fifth Third Bank and to obtain money under the custody and control of Fifth Third Bank by means of false and fraudulent pretenses and representations from in or around 2008 to March 2016.
At various times, Medrick was employed as the Comptroller and the Business Manager of Catholic Charities. The information alleges that as part of the scheme, Medrick converted proceeds of client-agency and donor checks to cash, which she used for her own benefit.
The information further alleges that Medrick altered copies of the checks, which she then placed into Catholic Charities’ records.
“The Diocese uncovered the fraud and came forward to federal authorities,” Rendon said. “They are cooperating fully. The defendant will now be held accountable for her criminal activity.”
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentences will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases they will be less than the maximum.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Kendra Klump following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.