Alabaster theft suspect now faces federal charge

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

BIRMINGHAM – A 46-year-old Alabaster woman who is facing Alabama criminal charges alleging she stole more than $300,000 from her Alabaster employer is now facing federal bank fraud charges, according to U.S. District Court documents.

Norton

Norton

The Alabaster Police Department arrested Rebecca Ann Norton on Aug. 14, 2015, and charged her with one felony count of first-degree theft of property and three felony counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument.

According to her arrest warrants, Norton allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from an Alabaster-based company between August 2013 and August 2015.

Since her arrest, Norton has remained in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $500,000.

On June 21, Norton was transferred to the custody of U.S. Marshals and U.S. Postal Inspectors to face a federal bank fraud charge brought against her on June 20.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Norton in U.S. District Court by a postal inspector on June 20, Norton allegedly forged a check from her employer on May 20 and made it payable to herself.

The $1,000 check was drawn on the company’s account with Wells Fargo, and Norton allegedly forged the signature of one of the company’s corporate officers on the document.

The postal inspector said he interviewed Norton while she was incarcerated at the Shelby County Jail, and claimed Norton admitted “to diverting funds from (her employer’s) corporate bank accounts to her personal accounts, to forging signatures of (the company’s) corporate officers on checks that Norton had fraudulently made payable to herself, to creating ACH wire transfers from (the company’s) corporate bank accounts to Norton’s personal accounts and to creating false entries in (the company’s) corporate databases to cover up her embezzlement activities.”

According to federal law, those found guilty of bank fraud face a maximum fine of $1 million and up to 30 years in prison.

Norton is scheduled to appear at the Hugo Black Federal Courthouse in Birmingham on June 30 at 10 a.m. for a hearing on the bank fraud charge.

Since Norton has been transferred to federal custody, her hearing at the Shelby County Courthouse originally scheduled for June 22 has been continued until July 13 at 8:30 a.m.