Home Richmond Press Releases 2012 Lynchburg-Area Woman Sentenced for Embezzlement

Lynchburg-Area Woman Sentenced for Embezzlement
Sheila Wright to Serve 33 Months

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 26, 2012
  • Western District of Virginia (540) 857-2250

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

Sheila Marie Wright, 50, of Forest, Virginia, previously waived her right to be indicted and pled guilty to one count of obtaining monies under the custody and control of financial institutions by means of false and fraudulent pretenses.

This morning in District Court, Wright was sentenced to 33 months of federal incarceration and five years of supervised release thereafter. Wright also agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $364,894.76 to her victims.

“Ms. Wright used her position at Bank of the James to steal money from elderly customers,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “She deliberately targeted vulnerable individuals and used their money for her personal use. This office will do all we can to protect our seniors from fraud and other schemes like that perpetrated by Ms. Wright.”

“Wright abused her position at the bank to prey on unsuspecting victims, selfishly using their hard-earned savings to perpetuate her gambling activities. Unfortunately, crimes such as these occur too often and destroy the public’s confidence,” said Jeffrey C. Mazanec, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Richmond Division. “The FBI will continue to aggressively investigate and work with the USAO to bring these criminals to justice.”

According to evidence presented 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, 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 prosecuted the case for the United States.