Kincaid pleads guilty to bank fraud charges in federal court
COLUMBUS – Melissa R. Kincaid, of Logan, appeared in U.S. District Court Friday afternoon for a change of plea hearing. Kincaid seemed distraught as she sat next to her attorney, Nicholas G. Gournaris of Dayton.
Initially charged with 26 felony counts including bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and bankruptcy fraud, Kincaid signed a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud in federal court on Friday.
Kincaid, a former employee at Century National bank, was a personal banker and indicted on Oct. 3 in federal court after a three-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
As a personal banker, Kincaid allegedly had access to the certificate of deposit accounts and savings accounts of elderly customers.
She is accused of transferring monies from some of those accounts into her personal bank accounts and loan accounts at Century National Bank, as well as into her family members’ personal bank accounts.
U.S. Assistant Attorney General Brenda S. Shoemaker read the plea agreement as requested by U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Preston Deavers, in which Kincaid pleaded guilty to the bank fraud charge.
According to the agreement, the maximum penalty that may be imposed is a term of imprisonment of up to 30 years, a fine of up to $1 million, restitution to the victims of her crime, up to five years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment fee.
When questioned by the magistrate if she pleaded guilty because she was indeed guilty of the crime of bank fraud, Kincaid stated, “Yes.”
FBI Special Agent Janelle McBain read the indictment charges, which claim Kincaid withdrew $7,507 from one bank account and transferred the money into her own personal account, and also claims she withdrew $186,984 from bank accounts of at least 10 other elderly customers of the bank.
McBain said Kincaid knowingly devised and schemed to defraud Century National Bank to obtain money and property using false pretenses and withdrew funds from the accounts and used them for her own benefit.
The judge ordered a pre-sentence investigation and reminded Kincaid it’s important she cooperate with the probation department for her sentencing hearing.
Although the court accepted the plea agreement, the magistrate stated that the presiding judge for her sentencing did not have to adhere to its recommendations.
Kincaid said she fully understands all the details of the agreement and admittedly pleaded guilty of bank fraud of her own free will and was not offered anything by her attorney or the assistant U.S. attorney in exchange for her guilty plea to bank fraud.
The other 25 charges have been dismissed per the plea agreement.
Once the pre-sentencing investigation is complete, sentencing will be scheduled with District Court Judge James L. Graham presiding.