Jessica E. Miller charged with 184 felony counts
An investigation conducted by state police with assistance from M&T Bank Corporate Security and the FBI Field Office in Williamsport has uncovered the theft of $97,619 from five Bradford County residents by former Relationship Banker Jessica E. Miller at the North Towanda M&T Bank branch between Nov. 6, 2009 and July 1, 2013.
Miller, a 36-year-old Towanda resident, has been charged with 45 felony counts of forgery, 45 felony counts of identity theft, 47 felony counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, 47 felony counts of receiving stolen property, and single misdemeanor counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition and receiving stolen property.
The victims, all Bradford County residents over 60-years-old at the time of the thefts, have been reimbursed in full by M&T Bank, which is now attempting to claim restitution from Miller.
Miller told police and an FBI agent during an interview on Sept. 3, 2013 that she only had $1,000 left in her checking account, police said. She went on to tell police she used the stolen money to pay her credit card bills and monthly car payment of $275 for about a year and a half. Police said Miller also admitted to using stolen funds for a February 2013 Royal Caribbean cruise to multiple Western Caribbean islands, a vacation to Bethany Beach, Del., gifting her husband $13,000 for spending money on a business trip to Texas, cell phone payments, groceries, electric bills and student loans.
Police said Miller's most frequently used tactic to steal money from her clients was by forging amounts on withdrawal slips for a higher amount and pocketing the difference. Miller would then deposit the cash in to her own bank account the next day, police said. In some situations she forged a customer's signature, and in others she filled out the rest of the slip after it had been signed, police said.
Miller was fired on July 11, 2013 after M&T Bank Corporate Security employees uncovered fraudulent transactions involving three of the victims. The subsequent investigation by police revealed the other two victims.
After being fired, Miller contacted the branch manager at M&T Bank to ask how she could make things right, police said. She went on to tell the manager that she only stole money from clients that had large sums of money in their accounts, thinking they would not miss it, police said.
Miller was arraigned on Thursday by Magisterial District Judge Timothy Clark and was released on non-monetary bail conditions. She is scheduled to appear before Judge Clark again on March 19 at 9:45 a.m. for a preliminary hearing.
Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; email: tzyla@thedailyreview; or Twitter, @TimZyla.