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Press Release

Paralegal Pleads Guilty To Embezzling Over $2 Million From Employer's Clients

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Jennifer Elaine Roarke, 54, of Hickory, N.C., appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler today and pleaded guilty to wire fraud, for embezzling more than $2 million from the clients of the law firm that employed her, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in North Carolina joins U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to court documents and today’s plea hearing, from 2007 to 2021, Roarke, who is also known as Jennifer Claveria, was employed as an assistant and a paralegal for a law firm in Hickory, North Carolina. The law firm handled, among other things, the administration and management of trusts for clients, including the trusts’ bank accounts. As part of her duties, Roarke was responsible for opening mail, depositing checks into trust bank accounts, and processing invoices. As Roarke admitted in court today, from 2015 to September 2021, Roarke executed the embezzlement scheme by causing at least 190 fraudulent and unauthorized bank wires, totaling more than $2 million, from the law firm’s clients’ trust bank accounts to bank accounts controlled by Roarke. Roarke used the embezzled funds to pay for personal items, make mortgage, car, and credit card payments, and to fund an extravagant lifestyle.

Roarke was released on bond following the plea hearing. A sentencing date has not been set.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the FBI for their investigation of the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassye Cole with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated December 1, 2023

Financial Fraud