Forensic Strategic Solutions’ Investigation Leads to Conviction and Sentencing for SouthPoint Bank Computer Fraud

Jeff WindhamBIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 10, 2013) — Forensic Strategic Solutions, Inc. (FSS) today announced a successful investigation into financial irregularities at SouthPoint Bank that resulted in a computer fraud conviction of a former loan manager.

SouthPoint Bank is an Alabama-owned and managed bank with comprehensive banking services including consumer and commercial accounts, internet banking, mortgage banking and consumer and commercial loan expertise.

Jeff Windham, an FSS senior financial analyst, attorney and Certified Fraud Examiner, led the investigation and discovered that a former SouthPoint Bank loan manager used the bank’s computer system to increase lines of credit on her own loans by more than $200,000 on 80 different occasions over four years.

According to FSS’ investigation, the loan manager increased her home equity line of credit 69 times between October and April 2012. She also increased her personal line of credit 11 times between January and February 2010. In total, she fraudulently obtained $274,775 from SouthPoint, according to her plea agreement.

Just four months after being engaged by SouthPoint Bank, FSS concluded its investigation and presented its findings to authorities.  The former loan manager was sentenced in March 2013 to six months in federal prison for computer fraud and ordered to pay $308,554 in restitution. In addition, she was ordered to serve three years on supervised probation and participate in a credit counseling program.

“The perpetrator in this case was sentenced just eight months after Forensic Strategic Solutions was engaged,” said Windham. “That is lightning speed in comparison to the average two to three years that it normally takes authorities to close a case. Through our efficient data analysis, interviews and fraud investigation techniques, we were able to reveal all of the facts in this situation, resulting in a conviction and sentencing.”  Windham also noted that by hiring FSS as the independent investigators, SouthPoint was able to avoid any potential criticism and legal issues that often accompany internal investigations.

In its 2012 Report to the Nations, The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reported that fraud within the banking and financial services industry accounted for 16.7 percent of all reported fraud cases, resulting in 229 instances in 2012. The median loss in these cases was $232,000.