INDIANAPOLIS – An Avon woman was sentenced to 3 years in prison for bank and mail fraud. She will also serve 2 years of supervised release and was ordered to pay over $315,000 in restitution.
According to court documents, Susan Fruits, 46, devised two separate fraud schemes. Fruits’ s bank fraud scheme targeted customers of the Brownsburg, Indiana bank where she served as branch manager. Fruits admitted in court that between 2017 and 2020, she perpetrated a scheme to withdraw money from customers’ Certificate of Deposit (CD) accounts without their knowledge. She digitally signed for the customers without their authorization, effectively forging their signatures, and then approved the withdrawals using her position as branch manager. In total, she stole more than $180,000 from the bank’s customers using this scheme.
Fruits mail fraud scheme targeted three children for whom she served as guardian and trustee of their inheritance. Fruits admitted that in mid-2015, one of Fruits’ s close friends died, leaving trust accounts for the friend’s three children. Fruits was named the trustee for the accounts, each of which had more than $50,000 in them. Over the course of eight months, Fruits spent all the money in the children’s accounts on unauthorized purchases.
To conceal her thefts, she created and mailed false bank statements purporting to show that the children’s accounts still had thousands of dollars in them. The three trust accounts had zero dollars left because Fruits had spent all the money.
Between the two schemes, Fruits admitted to stealing more than $315,000.
“Ms. Fruits’ actions were full of greed and selfishness,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John E. Childress. “It is sad to see someone abuse a position of trust for self-enrichment, especially at the cost of children who have already lost so much. Fruits has been brought to justice and the victims will receive what is due to them.”
“This sentencing sends a clear message that targeting not only those you serve, but innocent children, comes with a price,” said FBI Indianapolis Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Middleton. “The FBI will continue to work with the United States Attorney’s Office to ensure those who choose to put personal greed ahead of the law are identified and brought to justice.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Eakman prosecuted the case.