Jury set for LH woman charged with bank fraud

WILLIAMSPORT — Jury selection has been set in the trial in U.S. Middle District Court for a former bank employee who pleaded not guilty to charges of bank fraud and embezzlement of more than $52,000.

Jolene Marie Edwards, 38, of Lock Haven, appeared for arraignment before U.S. Middle District Court Magistrate Judge William I. Arbuckle II. Jury selection is set to begin 9:30 a.m. May 1.

Edwards faces grand jury charges alleging she embezzled and fraudulently converted $52,222 in funds from a customer’s certificate of deposit account while she worked as a customer service representative and assistant branch manager at Jersey Shore State Bank in Jersey Shore.

Instead of transferring the funds to a new certificate of deposit account at M&T Bank, Edwards allegedly used the funds to pay her credit card bills, repay personal loans and make purchases for family members, U.S. Attorney Bruce Brandler said.

The scheme to embezzle and fraudulently convert the customer’s funds started in June 2012 and continued through March 2015, Brandler said.

The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel is prosecuting the case.

Each count of bank fraud and embezzlement carries a maximum of 30 years of imprisonment and a $1 million fine. The count of interstate transport of stolen property carries a top term of 10 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Edwards is represented by D. Toni Byrd, federal public defender.