Criminal Justice News

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lynchburg-Area Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

Sheila Wright Faces Possible 30-Year Prison Term

LYNCHBURG, VA—A former branch manager of a local bank pleaded guilty this afternoon in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg to a charge of embezzlement.

Sheila Marie Wright, 52, previously of Lynchburg, Virginia, waived her right to be indicted and pleaded guilty this afternoon to one count of obtaining monies under the custody and control of financial institutions by means of false and fraudulent pretenses. Wright also agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $429,030 to her victims.

According to evidence presented at today’s guilty plea hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Jennie Waering, Wright worked as the branch manager of the Bank of the James branch located in Lynchburg from October 2000 to April 2009. During her time at Bank of the James, Wright operated a scheme in which she stole money from several bank customers. Typically, Wright generated a fraudulent cashier’s check in the victim account holder’s name, with which she subsequently used to liquidate the account by cashing or causing another cashier’s check to be generated.

Wright, who has admitted to using much of the money she stole to feed her gambling habit, stole more than $364,000 from seven Bank of the James customers, many of whom were elderly or widowed.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jennie L.M. Waering is prosecuting the case for the United States.

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