LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — A Texas woman has been indicted after allegedly stealing millions of dollars in federal funds from the city of Lexington.
According to the federal indictment, 24-year-old Shimea Maret McDonald, of Houston, conspired with others to engage in business email scams. The conspirators impersonated vendors in email communications with targeted entities and requested wire payments to a new bank account. One was opened in the name of Gretson Company LLC, a company established in Texas by managing member K.N., whose identity had been stolen.
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The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in August 2022, McDonald and her conspirators impersonated a nonprofit organization having business with the city of Lexington over email and convinced a city official to wire funds owed to the nonprofit organization to a bank account at Truist Bank. The city then wired a total of $3,905,837.05 to the Gretson Company LLC bank account at Truist Bank.
Truist Bank and the City of Lexington were eventually able to recover all the funds that were transferred.
McDonald was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, one count of providing fraudulent statements to a federally insured financial institution, and three counts of identity theft.
She is scheduled to appear in court at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, and faces up to 20 years in jail for wire fraud, up to 30 years for bank fraud, and up to two years on each count of aggravated identity theft.