Two women defrauded Bucks County Community College of more than $400,000 in a scheme in which they allegedly used an elderly victim’s bank account to receive the ill-gotten gains, authorities said.
Precious Etsekhume, 28, and Kathryne Simon, 27, both of Bronx, N.Y., have been charged with dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, receiving stolen property, and criminal conspiracy, Newtown Township police said.
They allegedly spent part of the money on clothing and plastic surgery, police said.
Etsekhume’s attorney, Paul Lang, said Wednesday that his client did nothing wrong and looks forward to her day in court. “She’s innocent of all charges,” he said.
Simon’s attorney, Antonetta Stancu, also disputed the charges. “We look forward to clearing Ms. Simon’s name and showing that the allegations are not accurate,” she said.
Police said their investigation began in January after the college informed them of the stolen funds. The college received an emailed bill for $407,516.51 from what appeared to be a construction company it had done business with and paid the money, but later learned the person who sent the bill did not work for the company.
The police department declined to provide any further details about the case Wednesday, as did a college spokesperson.
In their investigation, detectives learned that the money was transferred to the business account of a 74-year-old woman in New Jersey who allowed someone she met through an online dating site to use the account to receive the funds, authorities said. The woman was then forced to make four separate bank wire transfers in the amount of $100,000 each to other bank accounts, authorities said.
Police said two of the $100,000 wire transfers went into the personal bank accounts of Etsekhume and Simon, who spent the money on clothing and plastic surgery, among other things.