Huntingtown Woman Admits Stealing at Least $414,000 from Her Employer

GREENBELT, Md. (Sept. 18, 2015)—Amy Ranee Powell, age 41, of Huntingtown, Maryland pleaded guilty today to interstate transportation of stolen money in connection with a scheme to embezzle over $414,000 from her employer.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.

According to Powell’s plea agreement, from 2003 through 2013 Powell was a trusted employee of an architectural firm in Bethesda, Maryland, whose duties included bookkeeping and office management. As part of her responsibilities, Powell wrote checks linked to the company’s bank account to pay the company’s bills. The company’s owner endorsed the number of blank checks needed to pay the bills, and then gave the checks to Powell to be completed.

Powell admitted that from December 2010 through September 2013, she wrote at least 82 unauthorized checks from the company’s account, payable to herself. The checks ranged in amount from $500 to $8,000, and totaled approximately $420,444.42. Powell transported at least 16 unauthorized company checks, totaling $80,546.55, from the company’s office in Bethesda to her bank in Springfield, Virginia, where she deposited the checks into her bank account. When the fraud was discovered in September 2013, Powell’s bank returned $6,322.40 to the company for an unauthorized check Powell deposited on September 5, 2013.

Powell admitted that she diverted at least $414,122.02 from the company’s bank account and deposited those funds into her own bank account.

As part of her plea agreement, Powell has agreed to the entry of a restitution order in the full amount of the victim’s losses, which is at least $414,122.02. In addition, Powell will be required to forfeit any assets traceable to her offense, substitute assets, and/or a money judgment equal to the value of the property involved in the offense.

Powell faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte has scheduled sentencing for January 6, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Montgomery County Police Department, Financial Crimes Section for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer L. Wine and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sujit M. Raman, who are prosecuting the case.

Source: Office of United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein

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