KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a UMB Bank employee along with 11 friends and family members has been indicted by a federal grand jury for embezzling more than $650,000 in a bank fraud conspiracy.
Lisa L. Taylor, 53, Kara L. Williams, 32, Shameeka N. Whitehead, 30, Rodney C. Austin, 48, Johnnie L. Coleman, 51, Roshana A. Franklin, 21, Antonio O. Malone, 25, and Ralph Broadus, 58, all of Kansas City, Mo., William D. Moore, 23, of Grandview, Mo., Stephen A. Combs, 26, and Geoffrey N. King, 29, both of Olathe, Kan., and Lakisha S. Weathers, 28, of Springfield, Mo., were charged in a 44-count indictment that was returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on June 20, 2013. That indictment was unsealed and made public upon the arrests and initial court appearances of several defendants on Monday, July 8, 2013.
The federal indictment alleges that Taylor, who was employed by UMB Bank from May 2006 until October 2010, used her position to generate 377 fraudulent bank checks totaling $650,659, payable to her co-defendants and others in a fraud scheme that lasted virtually the entire time she worked at the bank.
According to the indictment, Taylor was employed at UMB as a closing account specialist. Taylor’s duties included collecting amounts that were charged off when a customer’s account was closed. Occasionally a closed account would receive a deposit via an automatic deposit or otherwise, after it had been closed. Taylor’s job duties required her to request a bank check to refund any deposit amount in excess of any charged off amount in the closed account. Taylor was required to submit this request for approval of a bank check to a bank officer, who would approve issuance of a bank check for the refund amount which would then be mailed to the customer’s last known address.
Taylor allegedly used her position at the bank to generate fraudulent UMB checks made payable to her friends, family members and others, including her codefendants. She submitted false and fraudulent requests for approval of the bank checks to UMB bank officers, the indictment says. Conspirators allegedly kept a portion of the funds from the UMB bank checks and returned a portion of the funds to Taylor, Williams, Whitehead or others.
Each of the 12 defendants is charged with participating in a bank fraud conspiracy from May 2006 until October 2010. Various defendants are also charged in 43 additional counts of bank fraud related to cashing fraudulent checks.
Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jess E. Michaelsen. It was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.