LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville woman is faces federal charges that she stole from a charity.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky, Mary "Kathy" Montfort is accused forging and depositing 43 checks totaling $200,294.84 into her husband's bank account.
Investigators say the thefts happened between April 7, 2010 and November 10 of this year when Montfort was working as a bookkeeper for Little Sisters of the Poor.
Federal prosecutors said Montfort started working for Little Sisters of the Poor in December 2005 and that her crimes may have started shortly after that time. Prosecutors say Montfort told police she began forging checks in 2007 and used the money to buy cars, travel and pay her daughter's rent.
The investigation that led to Montfort's arrest began on November 3 when Montfort's bank contacted Little Sisters of the Poor to verify a check for $14,700 that had been deposited into the account of Kenneth Montfort. That check was determined to be a fraud and the remainder of the fraudulent checks were found as the investigation continued. All of the checks were payable to "K. Montfort," had forged signatures and had been deposited into the same account.
"It is surprising," said Walt Cato, the city attorney for Shively where Montfort worked as the bookkeeper from 2000 to 2005. "I would hazard an educated guess that the mayor and city council of the City of Shively will want to discuss what may have occurred while she was employed with the City of Shively."
Cato said a yearly audit should have caught any possible wrongdoing.
Sister Maureen Courtney of the Louisville location of the Sisters of the Poor couldn't talk in detail about the case, but told us her staff will give Montfort the same love and compassion they give everyone in their care.
"At the end of our lives we're going to be judged on our love and I think there's so much love and so much prayer here that it's going to be fine," said Sister Maureen.
Montfort was arrested Wednesday and appeared before a federal magistrate later that afternoon. If convicted, Montfort faces a multiple year prison term and could have to pay fines and restitution.