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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. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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