A Wilmington resident and former personal banker at Bank of America in Reading was indicted Monday for stealing more than $2.1 million from both investors and customers, according to a press release from Attorney General Martha Coakley's office.
Elaina Patterson, 53, of Wilmington, allegedly conducted fraudulent transactions worth approximately $6 million and made payments back to investors and customers of nearly $3.8 million, according to the release.
Patterson, who worked as a personal banker at a branch in Reading, is charged with the following:
- Larceny over $250 from a person over 60 (15 counts)
- Larceny over $250 (16 counts)
The investigation by the Office of the Attorney General began in 2011 after Bank of America referred the case following an internal investigation, according to the release.
Authorities allege that Patterson made approximately $6 million between 1999 and 2011 in fraudulent transactions involving 31 investors and customers, according to the release.
The scheme began with Patterson persuading 15 family members and friends to invest in accounts that offered 10 to 15 percent interest rate and were only available due to her position at the bank, according to the release.
Patterson was able to secure approximately $4.5 million in investments from these individuals, and issued fake certificate of deposit receipts and Form 1099s on bank forms to make the investments appear legitimate, according the release.
Authorities allege Patterson then set up accounts under the investors’ names without their knowledge, put her own address on the accounts and deposited the investors’ funds, according to the release
Patterson allegedly used the money both to fund payments to other investors and to funnel money into her personal accounts.
The Attorney General's investigation also revealed that beginning in 2009, Patterson stole approximately $1.5 million from the accounts of 16 different customers, many of them elderly, in order to conceal her previous theft from investors.
By forging customer signatures on withdrawal slips, Patterson allegedly used approximately $400,000 to repay customers stolen from earlier in the scheme, according to the release.
Authorities allege that Patterson used the majority of the balance of the $1.5 million to fund interest payments and other payments to investors, according to the release.
Investigators uncovered a total of approximately $6 million in fraudulent transactions made by Patterson, around $3.8 million of which she paid back to investors and customers, making the total alleged theft at approximately $2.1 million.
Patterson is scheduled to be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court at a later date, according to the release.