Traverse City Accountant Sent to Prison for Money Laundering
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 08, 2011|
GRAND RAPIDS, MI—SUSAN J. MORRISON, 50, of Traverse City, Michigan, was sentenced today to 46 months in prison and ordered to pay over $1.1 million in restitution for wire fraud and money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis. MORRISON pled guilty to the charges in August. U.S. Attorney Davis was joined in the announcement by Erick Martinez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation.
According to court records, from 2007 to 2011, MORRISON was an accountant at Munson Regional Healthcare Hospital located in Traverse City, Michigan. During her time there, MORRISON had access to the Munson business bank accounts to include the Munson Foundation bank account, an account used for donor contributions. Using her authority as an accountant, MORRISON made over $1.1 million in unauthorized transfers to her own bank account at Traverse City State Bank in the name of “Great Lakes Bear Factory of Traverse.” Court documents show that MORRISON used the embezzled funds to pay personal expenses and to withdraw cash for herself and others. In order to complete some of the transfers, MORRISON accessed a co-workers account by stealing a password and username when the co-worker was not around. Regarding the specific charges to which she pled guilty, in March 2011, MORRISON transferred $30K from the Munson Healthcare Foundation account at Fifth Third bank to her Great Lakes Bear Factory of Traverse City account. In addition, MORRISON transferred $15K of the funds from her account to her partner’s account at Huntington National Bank knowing that these funds had been wired between Ohio and Michigan.
U.S. Attorney Davis stated: “SUSAN MORRISON violated her position of trust to steal money which, in part, had been obtained through the generosity of others. She selfishly then used that money to satisfy her own greed.”
Special Agent in Charge Martinez addeded that: “SUSAN MORRISON unlawfully took money that did not belong to her and used it for personal greed. The role of IRS becomes more important in this embezzlement case due to the complex financial transactions that take time to untangle.”
The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and the FBI. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew G. Borgula.