Former Bank Branch Manager Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement, Money Laundering, and Income Tax Fraud Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 19, 2013|
DAYTON, OH—Diane Elizabeth Niehaus, 40, of Beavercreek, Ohio, pleaded guilty to one count each of embezzlement, money laundering, and filing a false income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for her scheme to embezzle thousands of dollars from the accounts of customers of the branch bank she managed in Centerville, Ohio.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office; and Kevin R. Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office, announced the guilty pleas entered before U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black.
According to court documents, Niehaus managed the Union Savings Bank branch in Centerville between 2007 and 2010. Using her position with USB, Niehaus created fraudulent withdrawal slips to withdraw thousands of dollars in funds from multiple customer accounts using cashier’s checks or official checks she wrote to herself between 2008 and 2010. Niehaus illegally earned thousands of dollars through this embezzlement scheme, and she failed to report this fraudulently obtained income on her federal income tax returns.
“As we often see, the victims are not only the taxpayers but also the individuals and entities who suffer the financial harm,” said Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. “This investigation is a direct result of the excellent partnership IRS, FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office has in combating violations of federal law.”
Embezzlement is punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Money laundering carries a potential penalty up to 20 years and filing a false tax return has a sentence ranging up to three years in prison. The court can also impose fines and order her to pay the costs of prosecution associated with the false tax return charge. A sentencing hearing is set for January 9, 2014.
The court will conduct its own investigation prior to sentencing Niehaus, including determining the actual amount of loss to victims.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by special agents of the FBI and IRS, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Tabacchi, who is prosecuting the case. U.S. Attorney Stewart also acknowledged the cooperation of U.S. Bank in the investigation.