Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Scam artist pleads guilty

Ex-local woman defrauded banks

The Associated Press
and The Cincinnati Enquirer

A woman who used charm and aliases to take other people's money - and who operated for a time out of Deerfield Township - has pleaded guilty to bank fraud for schemes in 11 states since 1997.

With her plea in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on Monday, Lottie Mae Stanley, 51, admitted that she carried out bank scams that brought her more than $800,000. She faces up to 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines at her sentencing in January.

Stanley, who was tracked for six years, was arrested in July in Virginia after being featured on the America's Most Wanted television program.

Records indicated Stanley defrauded banks in Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Illinois, South Dakota and Louisiana.

State, local and federal authorities in Virginia had stepped up their search for Stanley in July after she took her son, Aaron, 5, from the home of his uncle in Halifax, Va.

The child was one of four children who had been placed in the custody of Warren County Children's Services in January when sheriff's deputies broke up an alleged theft ring they said Stanley led out of a Deerfield Township apartment.

Authorities said two of Stanley's children and two of her grandchildren were at a relative's house in Halifax after a Warren County judge granted out-of-state visitation.

Stanley, a mother of 12, in July had called the Enquirer to say she had the 5-year-old boy, but that a relative had turned him over to her.

"I went and got my little boy," Stanley said then. "(A girlfriend) called me and told me to 'Come and get your boy.' I missed my baby for the five months I was away from him."

One of Stanley's schemes involved gaining account information by giving tellers a fake, but common, name.

Last year, Stanley convinced a bank teller at the American National Bank in Rockwell, Texas, to give her a deposit slip with a customer's account number on it and deposited a bogus check for $5,500. She then asked for a balance and withdrew $1,900, according to the plea agreement.

In other cases, she obtained the account information of a bank customer, then deposited a stolen check into the account, asking the bank to give her half of the deposit amount immediately in cash, according to the FBI.

When Stanley was arrested, she was with her husband and son. Her husband, Aaron R. Telke, 38, is charged with fraud and other crimes in Ohio. Authorities said Stanley's 5-year-old son is in protective custody in another state.

The local cases against Stanley unfolded when Warren County deputies nabbed two runaway girls suspected of passing a stolen check at a Symmes Township Kohl's store.

Soon, local authorities were enmeshed in the nationwide hunt for a woman police described as a career con artist who used runaway children - and even her own - to steal more than a half-million dollars.

Stanley, police say, had a penchant for disguises and a love for gambling boats so strong that it kept her coming back to the Tristate.

For four months, police said, Stanley lived undetected in the Tristate, renting three apartments in Deerfield Township with Telke, other relatives and runaway girls.

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