Kellie Hampton Bick, 42, Midland, Texas, faces federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
In documents filed with the court, Bick admitted that starting in February 2009 she began writing checks to herself on bank accounts held by her employer, North Waterfront Corporation (NWC) and/or its president/owner. Usually the checks were made out to herself, but sometimes the payee was her husband or a third party to whom Bick owed money.
Bick escalated the scheme in July 2009 when she fraudulently arranged for a $240,000 wire transfer from her employer’s bank in California to a title company in Midland, Texas. The purpose of the transfer was to effectuate a cash payment for the family residence that Bick purchased in the Greentree subdivision of Midland, Texas.
Bick further admitted that she purported to be acting on behalf of the owner of NWC when she arranged for this transfer of funds on his line of credit. Bick acknowledges that at no time did she have permission to appropriate these funds for her own benefit. Bick admitted that she defrauded her employer and the bank of more than $300,000 during the few months that she worked at NWC.
Bick, who entered her guilty plea before United States Magistrate Judge David Counts in Midland,Texas faces a maximum term of 30 years’ imprisonment on the bank fraud count. In addition, on the aggravated identity theft count, Bick faces a mandatory term of two years’ imprisonment to run consecutive to any sentence imposed on the bank fraud count.
United States Attorney John E. Murphy made the announcement.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Austin Berry.