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Reading Banker Sentenced in $2M Ponzi Scheme

Elaina Patterson, 54, was sentenced to three-to-five years in prison after pleading guilty.

Credit: Creative Commons
Credit: Creative Commons
A Wilmington woman pleaded guilty on Monday and was sentenced to jail time after being accused of stealing millions of dollars from investors and customers while working as a personal banker for a Reading Bank of America branch.

Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that Elaina Patterson, 54, of Wilmington, pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court to 15 counts of larceny over $250 from a person over 60, along with 16 counts of larceny over $250.

As a result, Patterson was sentenced to three to five years in state prison. In addition she was given 10 years of probation to be served upon completion of that sentence, with the condition Patterson is never allowed to work in the financial services field.

Patterson, who was a personal banker based in Reading until 2011, is accused of making about $6 million in fraudulent transactions. Those illegal charges impacted 31 investors and customers, Coakley said.

Coakley added that in one case, Patterson stole more than $95,000 from a 90-year-old customer by forging his signature on withdrawal slips. In another instance, a 90-year-old woman was the victim of Patterson's scheme through a similar forgery.

“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,” said Coakley. “Through today’s state prison sentence, she is being held accountable for her deceitful and illegal actions.” 

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