A former Bank of America (BAC) employee in Massachusetts has been sentenced to three to five years in state prison for stealing more than $2 million from her clients.
Elaina Patterson, 54, pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court Monday to 16 counts of larceny of over $250 and 15 counts of larceny over $250 from a person over 60.
Between July 1999 and September 2011, Patterson used her position as a personal banker at a bank branch in Reading, Mass., to swindle friends, family members and other customers, according to a Monday press release from the Massachusetts Attorney General.
She began by persuading 15 family members and friends to invest nearly $4.5 million in accounts that she claimed carried above-average interest rates of between 10% and 15%. After issuing fake certificate of deposit receipts and forms to convince her investors that the accounts were real, Patterson used their money to make payments to other investors and for her personal use.
The plot became even more complicated in 2009. In order to make payments to her investors and keep them from discovering the scheme, Patterson stole $1.5 million from 16 different customersmany of whom were elderly.
In total, Patterson made nearly $6 million in fraudulent transactions and repaid customers and investors roughly $3.8 million, according to the release.
"This defendant's gross violation of trust negatively impacted more than 30 victims, many of whom were her friends and family, and others who were long-time and often elderly customers," Attorney General Martha Coakley said in the release. "Through today's state prison sentence, she is being held accountable for her deceitful and illegal actions."