November 30, 2018

By Dominic J Bartolone
Contributing Editor, Fraud Friday

Fraud Friday – Bank Exec and Husband Sentenced in $2.7 Million Bank Fraud Scheme

A former bank executive and her husband were both sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a $2.7 million embezzlement scheme.

Palestine Ace, and her husband, Jonathan Ace, plead guilty in February to multiple counts of bank fraud and were sentenced on November 14th in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Palestine, 45, who also goes by Pam Ace, is a former Senior Vice President of Bank of America’s Global Wealth & Investment Management Division. She was sentenced by Judge Allison D. Burroughs to one year and one day in prison, two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $2,778,000 in restitution. She was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, five counts of wire fraud, and 12 counts of bank fraud.

Her husband, Jonathan Ace, 46, was convicted of one count of conspiracy, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of engaging in an unlawful monetary transaction. He was sentenced to two years in federal prison, two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,855,000 in restitution.

Between October 2010 and April 2015, the couple hatched an embezzlement and kickback scheme to defraud Bank of America using phony donations to non-profits in order to skim $2.7 million from the bank. According to court documents, Pam Ace, as a senior bank executive, misappropriated marketing funds to transfer money to non-profit organizations in Boston and Atlanta.

During the period she worked as senior vice president, she personally approved 75 such transactions, each under $50,000, to be paid to these non-profits. The couple would then notify the organizations, either directly or indirectly, that a large portion of the funds needed to be returned under the threat of Bank of America no longer supporting their non-profit. They then directed the organizations to either write a check to Jonathan Ace or a co-conspirator, or transfer the funds to a Bank of America account they controlled.

Prosecutors say that on several occasions, Jonathan pressured recipients with intimidation or threats of public humiliation to get a more substantial portion of the funds returned directly to him.

Officials say that the Rockland couple used some of the funds they embezzled from the bank to fund their excessive lifestyle and pay for personal expenses, including fancy parties, limos, and the purchase of a $17,000 motorcycle.

Since losing her job at Bank of America and its $110,000 annual salary, Palestine Ace has worked as a personal shopper, a babysitter, and a house cleaner. Her husband Jonathan is a union carpenter.