A former employee of the Bon-Ton Stores Foundation has been indicted for mail fraud and money laundering that robbed the Foundation of more than $1.2 million. Christine S. DeJuliis, age 51, of Felton, PA, was charged in a six-count indictment handed up by the Grand Jury sitting in Harrisburg Wednesday.
DeJuliis is charged with five counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering covering a period from as early as January 2003 until July 2009. The charges stem from an investigation conducted by the U.S. Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation based on information received from the Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.
The investigation revealed that DeJuliis, hired by the Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., in 1999, worked in an administrative capacity for the head of the Bon-Ton Stores Foundation, a charitable organization established by the Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.
DeJuliis’s duties involved much of the day-to-day operation of the Foundation. DeJuliis allegedly created fictitious businesses with bank accounts and then devised a scheme to have the Foundation appear to award grants to the businesses. The grant money was put into the fictitious accounts controlled by DeJuliis and she allegedly caused the money to be taken out of those accounts and placed into her personal accounts. Over the period charged in the Indictment, DeJuliis allegedly defrauded the Foundation of more than $1.2 million.
The Indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation stating the Government’s intent to forfeit at least $1,282,885 traceable to the crime.
Officials at the Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., and the Bon-Ton Stores Foundation were cooperative with the investigation. DeJuliis was fired from the Foundation as soon as her conduct was discovered by the company in July 2009.
If convicted, DeJuliis faces a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment on each mail fraud charge, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. The money laundering charge also subjects DeJuliis to a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of the greater of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering transactions.