MORGANTOWN—A Taylor County woman was sentenced in Federal Court, after admitting to bank fraud.
Karen Lynn Kinsley, 45, of Cara Marita Drive, Grafton, was sentenced to 36 months incarceration for taking out loans and opening accounts in bank customers’ names without their knowledge, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.
The defendant had previously pled guilty to one count of bank fraud in September 2018, after being arrested by the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department on April 10, following an investigation at a Morgantown bank.
Kinsley had been charged with 16 counts of identity theft and embezzlement from a banking institution after she allegedly opened loans totaling approximately $232,500, while working as a branch manager of the Clear Mountain Bank inside the Kroger store in Sabraton, Monongalia County from June 2014 to September 2017.
She admitted to creating several loans in bank customers’ names, as well as reopening closed checking and saving accounts without the customers’ consent or knowledge.
It was revealed that the defendant had used some of the loan proceeds for personal use and some for payments on other fraudulent loans.
According to officials, the investigation began in December 2017, after a bank customer was questioned about an outstanding loan in his name, and he notified the bank that it was fraudulent.
Following the incident, the bank conducted an investigation, which revealed that there had been 24 fraudulent loans created from one specific branch. The complaint further states that while reviewing the loans, it was discovered that Kinsley had filed the loans.
All 16 individuals who were named on the loan documents were contacted, and they reported that they did not authorize the loans.
The complaint reports that three of the scammed individuals were relatives of Kinsley, and an additional three have personal ties to her.
In order for the loans to be processed, Kinsley had to provide the victims’ personal information in addition to checking their credit history, in order to satisfy the loan requirements.
In addition to her prison term, Kinsley was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $170,219.19.
Senior U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley presided, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod J. Douglas prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.