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A Leonardtown area woman has been charged through a summons with illegally obtaining the property of a vulnerable adult in court papers alleging she took $10,000 from a mentally-impaired man’s account while she worked as a bank’s branch manager.

Maria Juanita Nickerson, 54, ordered new checks for the PNC Bank customer’s account after his niece took the existing set from him because of his condition, according to charging documents. A check against the Breton branch customer’s account for $10,000 was written last March and deposited in Nickerson’s account, charging papers state, adding that “the check appears to be signed by the victim, but filled out by another party.”

Two withdrawals totaling $9,000 later were made from Nickerson’s account, and she admitted to the bank’s fraud investigators to “borrowing the money from the victim,” according to a charges application filed last week by Trooper Michael Parker of the Maryland State Police.

“Nickerson agreed to return the money to the victim’s account,” the charges application states, and a bank investigator forwarded to police “an I.O.U., signed by the suspect, to the victim.”

Nickerson could not be reached by phone Monday morning at her home or the bank’s Breton branch. A corporate communications officer with the bank’s headquarters in Pittsburgh declined to comment on Nickerson’s employment status.

jwharton@somdnews.com