A Bluffton woman has been indicted on 10 federal counts of bank and wire fraud in connection with an alleged scheme involving investors’ funds and a separate matter involving another investor, authorities said.
In the indictment issued earlier this month, Lecelle Theresa Montgomery was charged with obtaining money through false and fraudulent pretenses, and acting as a financial adviser in order to defraud an investor, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the South Carolina District.
The indictment alleges that beginning about 2008, and continuing to around 2012, Montgomery “knowingly executed a scheme to commit bank fraud by obtaining money under the control of a financial institution by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, promises and representatives,” the release said.
The indictment claims Montgomery offered her services to investors as a licensed investment adviser and accepted funds totaling $600,000, but used funds for her own personal use, including covering gambling losses.
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During that same period, Montgomery allegedly acted as a financial adviser and was authorized to use a credit card that belonged to an investor for expenses related to the investor’s illnesses, the release said. The indictment claims that she used the credit card to make personal purchases over $3,700.
If convicted, Montgomery could face a maximum 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine on the five counts of bank fraud, the release said.
The maximum penalty that she could receive for the five counts of wire fraud is 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and supervised release of not more than three years, the release said.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Austin of the Charleston office, the release said.