Kanawha County Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Fraud Crime
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Kathy Darlene Strickmaker, 63, of Dry Branch, pleaded guilty today to bank fraud.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from on or about January 15, 2015, through on or about November 21, 2018, Strickmaker devised a scheme to defraud a financial institution by writing fraudulent checks on accounts of a Charleston business where she was employed as an administrative assistant. Strickmaker’s duties as administrative assistant included paying bills on behalf of the business, which maintained multiple accounts at a bank in Charleston, and managing the business’s payroll and accounts payable. Strickmaker admitted that she wrote at least 80 unauthorized checks drawn from the business’s bank accounts and forged her employer’s signature on them. Strickmaker further admitted that she made the unauthorized checks payable to three individuals in amounts of between approximately $800 to $3,300. These individuals cashed or deposited the checks at local banks within the Southern District of West Virginia, keeping $100 per check and transferring the balance to another individual at Strickmaker’s direction.
Strickmaker also admitted to writing fraudulent and unauthorized checks from the business’s bank accounts from 2016 through 2018 that she made payable to herself. Strickmaker also forged her employer’s signature on those checks.
Strickmaker is scheduled to be sentenced on August 30, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine. Strickmaker also owes at least $250,000 in restitution.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the West Virginia State Police-Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) and the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office (WVSAO).
Chief United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Holly Wilson is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:23-cr-57.
Updated May 16, 2023