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Former Bank Employee Indicted for Fraud, Bribery, Money Laundering
Actions Led to $12 Million Loss

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 26, 2012
  • Northern District of Ohio (216) 622-3600

A 44-count indictment was filed against Paulette Roberts related to a scheme that resulted in the loss of $12 million while she was employed at Fifth Third Bank, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Steven D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cleveland Field Office.

Roberts, 54, resides in Sylvania, Ohio, according to court documents.

Roberts, a loan officer and vice president at Fifth Third Bank in Toledo, falsified documents and submitted them to bank officials to obtain credit approval for large commercial loans which would have otherwise been declined, according to the indictment.

In conjunction with these loans, Roberts solicited and accepted a gratuity payment from the borrowers. She then attempted to conceal these funds by creating a fake consulting business under which she invoiced borrowers for services not performed and accepted the gratuities, according to the indictment.

Roberts ultimately spent the concealed funds to purchase two vehicles, gold coins, and other assets. As a result of defaults upon these loans, the Fifth Third Bank of Toledo, Ohio, suffered a loss of approximately $12 million, according to the indictment.

The indictment charges Roberts with one count of conspiracy to commit financial institution fraud, one count of financial institution fraud, one count of bank bribery, and 41 counts of money laundering.

“Financial crimes come in all shapes and sizes, from self-dealing to Ponzi schemes,” Dettelbach said. “In this case the defendant took advantage of her employer’s trust in an effort to enrich herself.”

“Unfortunately, for some, personal greed trumps work ethic and the law as evidenced in this case,” Anthony said. “Paulette Roberts used her banking knowledge to falsify documents and mislead the financial institution that employed her by attempting to line her own pockets. The FBI will continue to aggressively investigate financial crimes that negatively impact our federally insured banking institutions.”

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after reviewing factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any; the defendant’s role in the offense; and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The investigating agency in this case is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Toledo, Ohio. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph R. Wilson and Gene Crawford.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

source: FBI

David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

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Comment balloon 4 commentsDavid Saks • September 26 2012 04:04PM


I wonder how long this was going on before they caught it? Were there no checks and balances?  I was a lender in the 90's in Canada and our files were audited regularly (by 1995 we were audited every 6 months!).  It would have been extremely difficult to get away with such fraud...although, people can be very clever and greedy no matter what.

Posted by Athina Boukas, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) (Virginia Capital Realty) almost 8 years ago

After 25 years, I'm certain that you've witnessed, all too often, what transpires at the bottom of the barrel, Athina.

This type of crime is common among bank executives and it's exhausting reviewing the financial crime press releases with the lurid details of new indictments daily, if not hourly.

“The man with the briefcase can steal more money than the man with the gun.”
― Mario Puzo, The Godfather

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Posted by David Saks ((retired)) almost 8 years ago

Very true.  After banking , I did loan consulting (I actually LEFT the bank before starting the consulting) and helped people with their business plans and loan proposals for Small Business Loans.  The bankers liked it because I also did the known grunt work ahead of them.

However!  It is amazing the creative fraud people wanted to pull off.  Problem was, that they thought it was creative and smart financing or using "other people's money".  I flat out could smell the scams a mile away and refused to present them to lenders.  They thought I was just not smart enough to pull it off or else they just didn't see the fraud in it. Of course, they found ways without me.

It is crucial for the lenders and anyone involved with "other people's money" to be audited and you can't do this without manpower.  The auditors themselves have to be street smart and have common sense too, but that's a whole other problem right there.

Posted by Athina Boukas, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) (Virginia Capital Realty) almost 8 years ago

I had a creep walk into my office a few months ago, Athina

She offered me uhaul truck full of vinyl records, rock and roll, jazz, etc., for a forged signature on a p&s agreement because her partner was away.

I sort of politely escorted her out of my office until we got to the front door, and then I sort of politely shoved her out of the building.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) almost 8 years ago

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