Nevada woman, Brumley man indicted for $1.8 million bank fraud

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Nevada woman and a Brumley, Mo., man have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a $1.8 million bank fraud scheme.

According to Beth Phillips, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Donis Gayle Duncan, 39, of Nevada, and Earnest Ray Schenker, 38, of Brumley, were charged in a 15-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

The federal indictment alleges that Schenker and Duncan defrauded Farmers State Bank from February 2003 to March 2004. Duncan was employed as an assistant cashier at the Schell City, Mo., facility, where Schenker had a joint checking account with his wife.

According to the indictment, Schenker asked Duncan to give him immediate credit for large checks that he deposited into his account, and to permit him to immediately withdraw funds from his account based on the increased balance or to purchase money orders from the bank. Duncan, in violation of Farmers' policy, did as Schenker requested.

The indictment alleges that both Schenker and Duncan knew that many of the checks Schenker deposited would be returned to Farmers as uncollectible. When that occurred, in order to prevent Farmers from learning about the scheme, Duncan allegedly violated Farmers' policy by holding the check in her desk drawer instead of charging it to Schenker's account, until he was able to make a deposit to cover the returned check. Duncan held checks for anywhere from a day to more than 50 days, the indictment says. Frequently, Schenker would cover the returned check by depositing another check that he and Duncan knew would also be returned to Farmers' as uncollectible, the indictment alleges.

In the course of the scheme, the indictment alleges, Schenker deposited (and Duncan gave him immediate credit for) more than 75 checks that were returned to Farmers as uncollectible. When Farmers learned of the scheme in March 2004, the economic loss to Farmers was more than $1.8 million.

The federal indictment charges Schenker and Duncan with 15 counts of bank fraud related to the scheme.

Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas C. Bunch. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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