Norton indicted on 47 federal charges
Published 10:26 am Wednesday, July 27, 2016
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
BIRMINGHAM – A 46-year-old Alabaster woman who has been charged with stealing more than $300,000 from her Alabaster employer is facing 47 federal charges after a grand jury indicted her in connection with an embezzlement scheme.
A federal grand jury returned the indictments against Alabaster resident Rebecca Ann Norton on July 26, charging her with 30 counts of bank fraud, 12 counts of aggravated identity theft, three counts of filing false tax returns and one count each of misusing a Social Security number and witness tampering.
Norton worked as an office manager for an Alabaster company from August 2013 and August 2015, where she allegedly “used a variety of methods to fraudulently take the $328,000 from bank accounts held by” the company.
“Norton committed aggravated identity theft by using personal identification information of several other individuals to facilitate her fraud, according to the indictment. It also charges that once Norton knew she was under federal and state investigation, she tried to contact two of her victims to convince them not to pursue criminal charges against her,” read a Department of Justice statement. “The superseding indictment also charges that, between 2011 and 2012, Norton drew unemployment benefits from the State of Alabama under another person’s Social Security number, thereby misusing that Social Security number and committing aggravated identity theft against that person.
“Finally, the superseding indictment charges that Norton filed false federal income tax returns for 2010, 2013 and 2014 by underreporting her taxable income during each relevant year,” the statement read.
If she is convicted, Norton faces up to 30 years in prison for each bank fraud count, up to 20 years for the witness tampering count, up to five years for the misuse of a Social Security number charge and up to three years for each count of filing a false tax return. She faces a mandatory two years in prison for each aggravated identity theft conviction.
The Postal Inspection Service and IRS Criminal Investigation Division investigated the case, with assistance from the Alabaster Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa Atwood and John B. Ward are prosecuting the case.
Norton originally was charged with second-degree possession of a forged instrument and one felony count of first-degree theft of property in Shelby County, but those charges were dropped after the federal charges were brought against her.