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Norwalker Allegedly Defrauded Employer of $400K

NORWALK, Conn. – A Norwalk woman has been arrested on federal charges of bank fraud and credit card fraud after allegedly defrauding her former employer out of more than $400,000, according to David B. Fein, U.S. attorney for Connecticut.

Roberta "Bert" Davis, 45, was arrested Thursday, Sept. 8, in North Carolina. On Friday, she appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge in the Eastern district of North Carolina and was ordered detained and transferred to Connecticut. The criminal complaint was unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in Connecticut.

If convicted of bank fraud, Davis faces a maximum prison term of 30 years. If convicted of credit card fraud, Davis faces a maximum prison term of 10 years.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Davis was employed by Theatre Projects Consultants of Norwalk from August 2000 through October 2010. The company did not know that Davis had been released from the federal prison in Danbury in January 2000 after serving a prison sentence for defrauding the Social Security Administration on charges relating to faking her own death and applying for a new Social Security number in the name of another person, Fein said.

Davis allegedly used TPC check stock to write checks made payable to herself in the total amount of $349,365.76. Davis also allegedly used the TPC computer system to make it appear as though each check was made out to a vendor for a corresponding invoice, Fein said. Davis then fraudulently signed the checks in the name of an authorized TPC account signatory and deposited them into her bank account.

The criminal complaint further alleges that Davis used TPC's American Express account to charge $58,534.11 in personal expenditures on the corporate cards of individuals working at TPC. The items Davis allegedly charged included extensive personal travel for her and her family members, gas, clothing and other personal expenditures, including jewelry. Davis was not issued a TPC American Express card but she was responsible for paying TPC's American Express bill.

A controller for TPC became suspicious in October 2010 when she discovered a $6,500 check with no corresponding invoice. She copied Davis on an email exchange, promising the person on the other end that she and Davis would look into it, according to the affidavit.

At the time, Davis was in North Carolina. She did not return phone calls or emails from the controller, who subsequently learned that the suspicious check had been made payable to Davis.

Further investigation showed that Davis had written 87 checks to herself and forged signatures, according to the affidavit. She also used the TPC American Express Card to buy her daughter a Tiffany necklace and later bragged to a co-worker about the bargain she got.

This matter is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric J. Glover.

Contact reporter Nancy Chapman at nchapman@thedailynorwalk.com .

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