A Dawsonville paralegal was sentenced to serve three years in prison Friday on charges of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story also ordered Ola Suzanne Stowers, 34, of Dawsonville to pay $260,171.94 in restitution.
She pleaded guilty to the charges April 4.
According to U.S. Attorney Sally Yates, Stowers worked as a closing paralegal and database manager at a real estate law firm in Atlanta from July 1999 until May 2010.
She transferred $176,946.79 from a law firm escrow account into a Bank of America account that she had been directed to close, but instead kept open. She also changed the statement mailing address on the account to her residence.
After the transfer, the Bank of America account had a balance of $194,007.46.
In July 2008, Stowers began writing checks from that account for her personal use, forging the signature of one of the firm's partners. By March 2009, the account had only $959.93 left.
In April 2010, Stowers deposited $82,727.42 in checks made payable to the law firm into the Bank of America account, and again wrote checks for her personal use, again forging the signature of one of the firm's partners.
This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the FBI.