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Former Shelbyville office manager charged with embezzlement

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A former office manager of a title insurance company in Shelbyville is facing federal charges relating to his alleged embezzlement of $1.6 million from the business.

Federal prosecutors in Indianapolis charged John Keith Branam, 55, of Shelbyville, on Thursday with one count each of bank fraud, money laundering and filing false individual income tax returns.

The charges stem from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the Shelbyville Police Department.

Branam served as office manager of King’s Title & Abstract Co. in Shelbyville from 1996 until 2007, when he was terminated, according to U.S. District Court documents.

In 2004, Branam allegedly began embezzling money from the company by opening bank accounts using several fictitious business names, including Branam Properties, Rocksolid Investments and King’s, the documents said.

Branam had signatory authority over the King’s Title escrow account, in which he either wrote King’s Title checks to his fictitious companies, or used checks to purchase cashier's checks or official checks payable to the companies, prosecutors allege. Branam then deposited those checks into his bank accounts.

In early 2005, he was removed as a signatory on the King’s Title bank account, but prosecutors said he continued to embezzle money from the company by getting an office employee, who had signature authority, to provide him blank signed checks.

The employee was unaware of the embezzlement and believed Branam needed the checks to pay title company expenses and conduct title company business, according to court documents.

From 2004 to 2007, prosecutors said, Branam obtained a total of $1.6 million, on which he failed to pay $360,000 in income taxes.

He faces a maximum sentence of 43 years in prison and a fine of $1.5 million.
 

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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