Rainbow City woman pleads guilty to fraud

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WBRC) - A woman from Rainbow City pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal fraud and embezzlement charges.

The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Nothern District of Alabama, in a statement Thursday to FOX6 News, said Roxanne Saunders Gilliland, 56, entered guilty pleas Wednesday to federal charges of bank and mortgage fraud totalling more than $500,000.

U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance said Gilliland plead guilty to making false statements on a mortage loan application and three counts of bank fraud. Vance said Gilliland agreed to forfeit $577,796 to the government as proceeds of illegal activity.

According to the statement, Gilliland was an employee of Dawson Construction Company in Gadsden and, between March 2005 and October 2008, fraudulently withdrew the $577,796 from personal and business accounts connected to the company. Also, in April 2007, Gilliland submitted a personal home mortgage application in which she claimed a business account of Dawson Construction as a personal asset in order to obtain a mortgage loan she would have been otherwise ineligible to receive.

"Any individual who commits both bank and mortgage fraud becomes a serious threat to our community," Vance said in the statement. "This defendant's criminal fraud struck at both our local businesses and financial community.  It is our mission to deal with these individuals swiftly and decisively in order to deter others from committing similar crimes."

Vance said Gilliland could be sentenced up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Copyright 2010 WBRC. All rights reserved.