Former Bank Employee Sentenced for $650,000 Bank Fraud Conspiracy
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former UMB Bank employee was sentenced in federal court today for embezzling more than $650,000 in a bank fraud conspiracy.
Lisa L. Taylor, 54, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to six years and six months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Taylor to forfeit to the United States a $650,659 money judgment.
Taylor, who pleaded guilty on Feb. 27, 2014, was employed by UMB Bank as a closing account specialist from May 2006 until October 2010. Taylor was terminated when a corporate fraud investigation revealed she had fraudulently embezzled UMB funds. Taylor admitted that she used her position to generate 377 fraudulent checks totaling $650,659.
As part of Taylor’s job duties at UMB she was responsible for collecting “charge off” amounts when a former customer’s account had been closed. Occasionally a deposit would come in for a closed account and be deposited to a general UMB account. Taylor was responsible for requesting a refund check to be issued from the general UMB account and sent to the former customer at their last known address. These refund checks were sent in the form of cashier checks that required approval of a bank officer. Taylor mixed in fraudulent refund check requests with these legitimate refund requests.
Over the course of the fraud scheme, Taylor requested checks payable to her friends and family, who cashed or deposited the checks. They kept a portion of the proceeds and paid Taylor 30 to 40 percent of the proceeds.
Taylor also had checks made payable to fictitious names, to which she forged the signatures and deposited into her bank account. UMB records revealed that Taylor personally negotiated 66 fraudulent UMB bank checks for a total of $96,793.
In addition to Taylor, 11 friends and family members have pleaded guilty to their roles in the bank fraud conspiracy, including nine co-defendants who were sentenced this week.
Kara L. Williams, 34, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to two years in federal prison without parole and ordered to pay $80,653 in restitution. Shameeka N. Whitehead, 31, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison without parole and ordered to pay $101,781 in restitution. Rodney C. Austin, 49, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to time served and ordered to pay $29,313 in restitution. Roshana A. Franklin, 22, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to time served and ordered to pay $19,308 in restitution. Ralph Broadus, 60, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to time served and ordered to pay $15,584 in restitution. Stephen A. Combs, 28, of Olathe, Kan., was sentenced to time served and ordered to pay $16,945 in restitution. Geoffrey N. King, 30, of Olathe, Kan., was sentenced to time served and ordered to pay $12,533 in restitution. William D. Moore, 24, of Grandview, Mo., was sentenced to time served and ordered to pay $41,908 in restitution. Lakisha S. Weathers, 29, of Springfield, Mo., was sentenced to time served and ordered to pay $10,442 in restitution.
Antonio O. Malone, 26, and Johnnie L. Coleman, 53, both of Kansas City, Mo., have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. It was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.