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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 16, 2015

Canadian Woman Indicted In A Check Kiting Scheme

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
 
BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a five count indictment charging Panagiota Loukisas, 54, of North York, Ontario, Canada, with bank fraud. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Moellering, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, the defendant opened bank accounts at five banks in Niagara Falls, NY in November 2014. Loukisas deposited checks drawn on a Canadian bank account held by her company, PM Global Consulting Services, into these five accounts. The defendant then withdrew significant sums of money from the Niagara Falls bank accounts before the checks were returned to the banks for insufficient funds. Loukisas is accused of fraudulently depositing non-sufficient fund checks valued at more than $83,000 and withdrawing more than $52,000 from the accounts before the scheme was discovered.

The defendant will be arraigned July 22, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy.

The indictment is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of the Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge J. Michael Kennedy.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated July 17, 2015