Woman indicted in bank scheme
A former employee at a Hawaii Kai bank faces federal charges
A former assistant bank manager at American Savings Bank has been indicted on federal charges stemming from the theft of $304,000 from a 92-year-old customer.
The Nov. 15 indictment against Marylin P. DeMotta, 41, now living in Las Vegas, was unsealed yesterday in U.S. District Court, charging her with four counts each of bank fraud, embezzlement by a bank employee and two counts of theft of public funds.
DeMotta's attorney, Emmanuel Guerrero, said he had not yet seen the indictment, and declined comment. Court documents indicate DeMotta is expected to make an appearance in U.S. District Court next week.
As an assistant manager at the Hawaii Kai branch of American Savings, DeMotta became personally involved with the financial affairs of a customer, identified only as A.L., according to the indictment.
She allegedly used her position to access the customer's accounts and transfer funds into other accounts at the bank as well as other financial institutions, the indictment said.
In a scheme that left a paper trail of checks, DeMotta is also accused of altering checks belonging to the customer and using her father's name to open new accounts in which she allegedly deposited the customer's checks.
She also falsely endorsed cashier's checks that were to be used for Ada P.S. Lim's payment for state and capital gains taxes owed from the sale of real property but were never turned over to the Internal Revenue Service or state tax collector, the indictment alleged.
The customer, identified in state court documents as Lim and her son William S.Y. Lim, filed suit in Circuit Court against the bank and DeMotta in August 2006 alleging that she had embezzled more than $900,000 from their trust account in 2004 and 2005.
American Savings Bank reached an out-of-court settlement in the case the following month. Terms of the settlement were confidential.
The state complaint had accused DeMotta of writing checks drawn on the Lims' trust account and purchasing a Waipahu condominium using $110,000 of their money.
DeMotta was also accused of depositing $212,500 from the Lims' trust account into an account in her father's name during a bank promotion in which employees received cash bonuses of $1,000 to $5,000 for opening the largest number of "I-Plan accounts."
DeMotta faces up to 30 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine on each of the bank fraud and embezzlement counts and up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine for each of the theft counts.
The FBI, U.S. Department of Treasury and Office of Inspector General for Tax Administration are continuing to investigate.