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July 23, 09

NEWS / Former Employee of Kent Bank Admits Stealing From Customer CD Accounts


Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that BETTY PACOCHA, 75, of Kent, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven to one count of bank fraud stemming from a 30-year scheme to steal from bank customer CD accounts.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, from approximately 1961 to 2006, POCOCHA was employed in various positions at New Mil Bank, located at 19 Main Street in New Milford. Over the years, POCOCHA was employed as a teller, branch manager, vice president and compliance officer and, finally, executive vice president and corporate secretary of New Mil Bank. She then continued as an employee of the Bank for several weeks after New Mil Bank merged with Webster Bank in October 2006. In her various capacities, PACOCHA had access to information pertaining to the records and accounts of customers who maintained certificate of deposits ("CDs") at that branch location.

In pleading guilty, PACOCHA admitted that, over the course of approximately 30 years, she defrauded the Bank by removing funds from customer CD accounts and converting the funds to her own use. PACOCHA converted funds from the accounts of customers with CDs, by either completely closing the CDs or by reducing them in value. PACOCHA kept detailed records of her activities so that she would be able to track when CDs were nearing maturity and then restore their balances with funds from other accounts to perpetuate the scheme. When each reduced or previously closed CD matured or was due to mature, and the respective customers were expecting to have their funds available, PACOCHA would shift funds from other CDs that were not yet mature to cover the shortfalls on the presently-mature CDs. On some occasions, PACOCHA reimbursed accounts with funds from her own bank account to cover the shortfall and prevent discovery of the fraud scheme.

Through this scheme, the Government believes that PACOCHA defrauded New Mill Bank/Webster Bank of $722,817.18.

Judge Kravitz has scheduled sentencing for October 9, 2009, at which time PACOCHA faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to approximately $1.4 million.

PACOCHA has made restitution to the Bank from her retirement pension.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael S. McGarry, with the assistance of legal intern Jonathan H. Schaefer.

Tags: corporate secretary, corporation, document,
 




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