Former Bank Teller Sentenced for $83,000 Embezzlement
WICHITA, KAN. - A former Labette County bank clerk was sentenced Wednesday to three years on probation, including eight months home confinement, and ordered to pay full restitution for embezzling more than $83,000 from the bank where she worked, Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.
Angela S. Littlejohn, 41, Chetopa, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement. In her plea, she admitted the crime occurred while she worked as a teller during 2013 and 2014 at the Chetopa State Bank in Chetopa, Kan. She stole a total of at least $83,963 from multiple accounts at the bank
Beall commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch for their work on the case.
Delaware Bank Teller Sentenced for Embezzling $150,000
WILMINGTON, Del. – Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Amanda Carey, age 28, of New Castle, Delaware, was sentenced today by the Honorable Richard G. Andrews, United States District Judge for the District of Delaware, to 12 months and one day imprisonment and full restitution. The defendant pleaded guilty to committing bank embezzlement, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 656, in October 2015.
According to statements made today and documents filed in court, the Judge found that Carey’s offense was a serious matter that warranted a term of imprisonment. Carey had embezzled approximately $150,000 from PNC Bank over the course several months last year. According to statements made at the plea hearing, Carey was employed as a teller supervisor at the bank, beginning in January 2015. On June 19, 2015, Carey did not report to work as scheduled. An audit of the bank’s vaults was conducted, and the bank learned that over $150,000 of cash was missing. An arrest warrant was issued for Carey on July 10, 2015, and she was arrested in Emporia, Virginia on July 28, 2015.
U.S. Attorney Oberly gave the following comments: “At a time when some question the need to incarcerate non-violent offenders, cases like this require some actual punishment. Ms. Carey breached her position of trust at the bank and stole nearly $150,000, none of which was recovered. The public needs to be assured that such crimes cannot simply be resolved or deterred through probation, but require some period of incarceration.”
“Ms. Carey took a large amount of money that wasn’t hers, so she must now face the consequences of her actions. There are laws that govern our society and our job as the FBI is to protect people from the criminals who chose to break those laws,” said Kevin Perkins, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Delaware.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the cooperation and assistance of PNC Bank Investigative Services Group.
Sandra Marks Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud, Money Laundering
Marks Also Agrees to Repay Victims at Least $1.2 Million
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA – The former owner of a fortune teller business on Seminole Trail in Charlottesville pled guilty today in Federal court to committing mail fraud and laundering more than $1 million in money stolen from her victims, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. said today.
Sandra Stevenson Marks, a.k.a. “Catherine Marks,” 42, of Charlottesville, Va., pled guilty today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville to one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering. In addition, the plea agreement signed today in District Court calls for Marks to repay at least $1.2 million in restitution to the victims of the defendant’s scheme.
“Ms. Marks took advantage of people who trusted her during some of the lowest points of their lives,” United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. said today. “Greed drove this defendant to break federal law and steal over $1 million from her victims. We are grateful to those who investigated this case and helped begin the process of making these victims whole again.”
“A fortune teller cons clients out of more than one million dollars, then launders the proceeds and commits mail fraud. This sounds like the plotline for a Hollywood movie. Unfortunately, for Ms. Marks’ victims, this was reality,” said Clark E. Settles, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Washington, D.C. “I hope everyone appreciates, as much as I do, the HSI special agents who worked alongside our federal partners and the Albemarle County Police Department to investigate Marks and provide relief to the victims in the form of $1.2 million in restitution.”
According to evidence presented today, and at previous hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald M. Huber, Marks, and her husband, Donnie Marks, operated the business, “Readings by Catherine” on Seminole Trail in Charlottesville, which offered services such as palm readings, candle readings, tarot card readings, astrological readings and spiritual readings to clients.
Marks admitted today, through a statement of facts submitted to the court and signed by the defendant, that she enriched herself by telling her clients she was clairvoyant and able to see into the past and the future. Marks also said she told her clients she had a “gift from God” and was able to communicate with spirits and guides from God, including the “Prince of Illusion,” who relayed information to her about clients.
Marks further admitted that she would tell clients that she had learned from the spirits and guides that the client, and/or the client’s family, was suffering from a “curse” and a “dark cloud” that occurred in the past. Marks would tell clients they would need to make a sacrifice of large amounts of money and valuables, whereby she would bury the money and items in a box to be “cleansed.” Marks explained to her clients that the money and property would be returned once the “work” was complete. Additionally, Marks would tell the clients that the money and property would not be used for Marks’ own personal benefit.
Contrary to her representations to clients, Marks kept and used money and other valuables provided by her clients for her own personal use and enjoyment and that of her husband. When Marks had used all of her client’s money, Marks would find new clients to fund the scheme, or tell old clients that additional money was required to continue her “work.”
At sentencing, Marks faces a maximum possible penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison on both the mail fraud count and money laundering count. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
The investigation of the case was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Secret Service, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, the Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the Albemarle County Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Ronald M. Huber prosecuted the case for the United States.