A former Bank of America executive, along with her husband and another person, have been accused of bank fraud for their alleged involvement in an embezzlement scheme that involved making millions of dollars of fake donations in the bank’s name.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Massachusetts announced that the three individuals had been charged with several counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud related to a scheme that attempted to embezzle more than $2.7 million from Bank of America from Oct. 2010 to April 2015.
According to the indictment, from Oct. 2010 to April 2015, Palestine “Pam” Ace, a former senior vice president of Bank of America’s Global Wealth & Investment Management Division, used her position to misappropriate funds from a marketing budget and transfer the money to non-profit organizations.
The woman allegedly authorized 75 transactions, each under $50,000, to non-profit organizations in Atlanta and Boston.
After the transfers were complete, Ace — along with her husband Jonathan Ace and Brianna Forde — would either directly or indirectly inform the non-profit organization that a substantial portion of the donated funds needed to be returned in order to ensure that Bank of America would continue funding the organization.
The non-profit organizations either wrote a check to Jonathan Ace or Forde, or they returned funds to a Bank of America account, to which the defendants had access.
In some cases, Jonathan Ace pressured the organizations to return a higher percentage of the funds to him, by using intimidation and threats of public humiliation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
The complaint alleges that the defendants used the money pilfered through the scheme to fund their lifestyle, including hosting lavish birthday parties and purchasing a motorcycle.
In all, Palestine Ace was also indicted on 12 counts of bank fraud and four counts of wire fraud; Jonathan Ace was also charged with two counts of wire fraud and one engaging in an unlawful monetary transaction; and Forde was indicted on two counts of wire fraud.
Each charge of wire fraud and bank fraud could come with a sentence of no more than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. The charge of unlawful monetary transaction provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, two years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.