Woman guilty of $860,000 fraud


A 30-year-old Baltimore woman pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud in federal court yesterday in a scheme in which she stole more $860,000 and luxury products by defrauding her employer, Old Mutual Financial Network. Bryn D. Phillips, who was treasury operations manager, admitted that for more than two years ending in 2004, she obtained more than $700,000 in unauthorized wire transfers from Wachovia Bank.

Investigators said Phillips also had fraudulent perks totaling $152,000 billed to her corporate credit card. The expenses included rooms at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, two Louis Vuitton handbags, a $4,095 pink mink jacket with faux trim and professional basketball tickets.

Phillips faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and could be liable for a criminal forfeiture of $860,751.88. U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson scheduled sentencing for Aug. 3.

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