Crime

Woman accused of floating checks to pay business costs

WILLIAMSPORT — A Blair County woman is scheduled to plead guilty later this month in U.S. Middle District Court in a check-kiting scheme involving bank accounts of a Philipsburg business of which she was a co-owner.

Mary Lou Martin, 50, of Tyrone, was charged Wednesday in federal court, accused of floating checks that resulted in an $189,803 overdraft in the CNB Bank account of L.H. Powers Fuels Inc., a business she owns with her husband.

The charge alleges the motive for the scheme was a cash shortage and the funds were used to pay employees, vendors and other expenses.

Between last February and December, Martin is accused of writing checks on insufficient funds on the business’ Northwest Savings account and depositing them in the CNB account.

Before the Northwest checks were returned for insufficient funds, she wrote checks on the CNB account to pay business expenses, the government charges.

She would deposit the checks into the CNB account at several offices on the same day to avoid detection before the Northwest checks were returned for insufficient funds, the charge alleges.

Martin also would deposit checks drawn on the CNB account at various Northwest branches in Centre and Clearfield counties, the information alleges.

The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, but the plea agreement signed by Martin recommends a term at the low end of the sentencing guidelines. She will be required to make full restitution.

Martin’s husband is mentioned in the charge as a co-owner, but he is not named or charged. 쇓

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