Real estate office employee sentenced in bank fraud case

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:19 AM

U.S. Attorney Donald Davis said Janice Kay Branderhorst of Holland — now a former administrative assistant at a commercial real estate firm — fraudulently obtained $591,485 held in the custody of federally insured financial institutions from December 1999 through January 2010. Branderhorst wrote checks to herself from the accounts of Focus Properties and its related entities without authorization, forged signatures onto the checks, and deposited the checks into her own account to obtain the monies, Davis said. She also manipulated the books of Focus Properties and its related entities to conceal her fraud.

In total, Branderhorst forged approximately 427 checks over the 10-year scheme, Davis said.

After an FBI investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed the complaints charging Branderhorst with bank fraud on Aug. 29, 2011. Branderhorst pled guilty to the charge on Sept. 8, Davis said.

In addition to 13 months in prison, U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell sentenced Branderhorst to a five-year term of supervised release and was ordered to pay full restitution.

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