Police: Woman stole almost $700K
Ocala police have arrested a former bank employee accused of scamming her aunt and some of her customers out of almost $700,000.
Connie Moorman Willis turned herself in Monday at the Ocala Police Department but declined to make a statement to Detective Wayne Greene. The Morriston woman faces four counts of criminal use of personal identification on a victim age 60 and older and four counts of grand theft. Half of the grand theft charges concern victims 65 and older.
In total, Greene estimates the loss suffered by six victims at $688,326.25.
Bail for Willis, 52, was set at $95,000.
Police allege that Willis, when she was an employee at Wells Fargo bank, opened two credit cards in the name of her 77-year-old aunt. Willis used the cards for purchasing items and paying utility bills. To pay the credit card bills, Willis allegedly transferred cash from an illegally established account or accounts at SunTrust, where she worked after she left Wells Fargo.
Greene’s investigation began in May, when Willis’ aunt reported she had been the victim identity theft while her niece was employed at Wells Fargo in Ocala. The victim alleges that two credit cards were opened in her name by her niece.
The detective noted the cards were obtained between 2010 and 2011; both are still active with past due payments. On one card, $2,787.44 is owed. The other has a balance of $29,321.88.
After Willis’ employment was discontinued at Wells Fargo she worked at various SunTrust bank branches locally. Greene alleges that Willis removed money from accounts belonging to people known to her at SunTrust and deposited it into a secret account or accounts she set up at SunTrust in the victims’ names.
To cover charges made on the credit cards taken out in her aunt’s name, Willis allegedly withdrew money from the bogus accounts.
Greene talked with several people whose SunTrust funds were allegedly compromised by Willis. They said they did not know anything about the fraudulent accounts.
The detective said Willis is no longer an employee at SunTrust.
“We commend the authorities working with us to resolve this matter with a former employee that is counter to the high standards we maintain as a company,” a SunTrust spokesman said on Tuesday.
Wells Fargo also issued a statement: “Connie Moorman Willis no longer works for the company. As this is an ongoing legal matter with the Ocala Police Department, we will cooperate fully with them and cannot comment further at this time. In cases where it is proven that a customer has been a victim of fraud perpetrated by an employee, he or she will be fully reimbursed.”
Locally, Willis does not have a criminal record.