Business, Crime

Nottingham woman charged with embezzlement, wire fraud

FraudUPDATE, 5/13/2017: Strohman has been sentenced to prison – details here.

UPDATE, 1/26/2017: Strohman has pleaded guilty to the charges. She will be sentenced in May.

Original story below…


A Nottingham woman is facing federal charges of wire fraud and bank embezzlement, arising from a six-year scheme to steal over $1.8 million from bank customers at the bank where she worked, and use the money for her own benefit.

According to the criminal information, from April 2010 through July 2016, Melissa Strohman, 54, of Nottingham, was Senior Vice President at a federal savings bank in Maryland, which had branches in Pikesville and Highlandtown. Strohman was responsible for managing the bank’s savings department, including overseeing deposits and Individual Retirement Accounts for every customer. In addition, as the bank’s Bank Secrecy Officer, Strohman was responsible for filing Currency Transaction Reports and Suspicious Activity Reports for any transactions that were deemed to be suspicious or potentially illegal.

The criminal information alleges that, using her position at the bank, Strohman caused unauthorized transfers and withdrawals of funds from six customers’ bank accounts to pay for mortgages, credit card bills and property tax bills associated with Strohman and her family members. Three of the six victim customers were at least 80 years old, and for two of the accounts the customers were deceased.

Strohman allegedly used her supervisory override function on the bank’s electronic banking system to facilitate unauthorized transfers from bank customers’ accounts to accounts associated with Strohman; forged the signature of the individuals in order to complete an unauthorized transaction between the bank account to an American Express account associated with Strohman; and caused unauthorized transfers of funds from another customer’s account to replace the monies Strohman stole in order to hide the thefts.

Strohman faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for wire fraud, and a maximum of 30 years in prison for bank embezzlement. No court appearance has been scheduled yet for Strohman in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

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