A Plain Township woman who worked for FirstMerit Bank in North Canton has been indicted on charges that she embezzled more than $500,000 from the accounts of elderly clients.
A Plain Township woman who worked as a financial adviser for a local bank embezzled more than $500,000 from her clients, federal investigators say.
On Tuesday a federal grand jury issued a seven-count indictment charging Vicki L. Perchinske, 52, of Demington Street NW, with bank embezzlement.
Federal prosecutors said Perchinske took $534,799 from clients she had while working as a financial adviser for FirstMerit Bank at its North Canton branch.
Perchinske’s lawyer, Jeffrey R. Jakmides, said she will enter a not guilty plea. While Perchinske knew the FBI and North Canton police were investigating, the indictment came as a shock, Jakmides said.
North Canton detectives began investigating in September after family members of an 86-year-old nursing home resident reported $55,000 was missing from the woman’s bank accounts. According to the indictment, the money was taken in October 2008.
Police investigated along with FirstMerit’s corporate security and agents from the FBI’s Canton office.
In late September, Stark County prosecutors took steps to seize Perchinske’s personal bank accounts.
Investigators heard from more FirstMerit customers as they began to delve into records of accounts handled by Perchinske. Five complaints were filed with North Canton police from alleged victims ranging in age from 82 to 90 years old.
According to the indictment the first act of embezzlement occurred in December 2004 when a client had $96,378 removed from an account under Perchinske’s care. The indictment also states that $186,000 was taken from one woman between May 2006 and February 2007. The final count is for $83,509 taken from a client’s accounts between January and July of 2010.
The case in pending before U.S. District Judge Christopher A. Boyko in Cleveland.