NH woman charged with bank fraud for allegedly bilking business of $750,000

Posted Aug. 14, 2014, at 12:21 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A New Hampshire woman who worked as a bookkeeper for a Norway business has been charged by the federal government with bank fraud after she allegedly wrote nearly $750,000 in checks from the company’s account to herself and her son’s pizza restaurant.

Janis F. Woods, 65, of Conway, New Hampshire, faces up to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1.4 million for the crime.

Woods worked as a bookkeeper for family-owned precision drilling business Grover Gundrilling Inc. in Norway, Maine, according to an affidavit filed Thursday by Special Agent Paul Pritchard of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Woods allegedly had access to a signature stamp in the name of company CEO Garth Grover, but was not authorized to use it.

According to prosecutors, between January 2009 and January 2012, Woods wrote approximately 169 checks totaling approximately $742,081 on Grover Gundrilling’s business account at TD Bank, and deposited the checks into her personal account at TD Bank.

She then allegedly wrote about $679,000 worth of checks on her personal account, including approximately $480,000 to Fire 21 Pizza, a restaurant in North Conway, New Hampshire, owned by her son, Christopher Fleming.

Grover Gundrilling discovered the theft in 2012, and the company asked Woods to explain. She allegedly told company officials she was ill, left work and never returned, according to the affidavit.

According to court records, Assistant U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank requested on Wednesday that the court issue a criminal summons to Woods.

No additional information on the case was immediately available.

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