A former Gloucester County bank teller admitted to embezzling more than $600,000 from the dormant accounts of elderly bank customers, authorities said Tuesday.
Telisha Trent, 43, of Williamstown, who worked as a teller and financial representative at the TD Bank in Sewell, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of bank fraud and one count of money laundering, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in a statement.
According to court documents, while working at the bank, Trent identified checking and savings accounts that were dormant, most of which were held by elderly customers of TD Bank.
“Trent would research the account holder in order to assess the risk of whether the account holder would notice that the funds in the account were removed. She would steal the money in the dormant account by transferring the funds to accounts she controlled or have a cashier’s check issued in her name,” Fishman said in a statement Tuesday.
Authorities say Trent transferred funds from eight dormant accounts into new accounts she set up for herself to cover up the fraud, then closed the dormant accounts.
Between Aug. 9, 2014 and Sept. 11, 2015, investigators found that Trent obtained $608,000 in cash from TD bank customers in New Jersey, Ohio and Connecticut.
In pleading guilty, Trent admitted to spending the money on home renovations, vacations, two BMW sedans and items for her children, among other things. According to Fishman, once investigators discovered the fraud, TD Bank reimbursed the victims for the money that was stolen from their accounts.
If convicted of bank fraud, Trent could face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million when sentenced on Nov. 7. If convicted of money laundering, she could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.