A former employee of a Bangor television station is accused of stealing more than $224,000 from the company to pay for an online Bingo game, among other purchases.
Melissa Moran, who worked for WVII/WFVX in Bangor and managed the company’s accounts, was indicted on Wednesday on a charge of theft by unauthorized taking, a Class B felony. The indictment stated that Moran, 53, of Glenburn committed theft of a value more than $10,000 with the intent to deprive the company of the property.
An employee of Infinity Credit Union filed a suspicious activity report on Jan. 13, 2023, after realizing that Moran had deposited 80 checks made payable to WVII worth $224,215.36 to her personal account with Infinity, according to Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy.
When the Infinity employee questioned Moran about the deposits, Moran allegedly replied that “it is easier to do mobile banking due to our hours” and that she would have WVII sign the checks over to her moving forward, according to Almy. When asked why the checks were being deposited into Moran’s personal account, she allegedly said that WVII’s account was “hacked” and she needed to process the checks to pay vendors.
The deposits, which took place between Nov. 8, 2020, and Oct. 27, 2022, involved multiple transactions of $105.49 to Apple, and totaled more than $80,000, Almy said. Moran allegedly told the Infinity employee that these charges were not fraudulent.
Detective Kyle Pelkey of the Bangor Police Department reviewed the bank records and confirmed the total of the suspected fraudulent activity.
When Pelkey spoke with Michael Palmer, the general manager for WVII and Moran’s supervisor, Palmer said “he was not aware of any issues, that his company had never used Infinity [Credit Union] and that no employee had permission to use any other bank or account than the company account through Camden National Bank,” according to Almy.
Pelkey then spoke with Moran, who admitted to the theft, Almy said.
“She was surprised by the total money taken, but reiterated that it was all her,” Almy said. “She explained how she did this, that she actively deceived the sales team, and that she knew she was committing theft.”
The Apple payments were for a Bingo game she plays, Moran told Pelkey. She also admitted to buying plane tickets to Florida with the stolen money.
Moran told Pelkey “she did not think her wage was enough to cover expenses,” according to Almy.
Pelkey found more than $100,000 in Moran’s expenses that would be considered unnecessary expenditures, including makeup, eating out and tanning.
Upon further review, Palmer accused Moran of also taking nearly $30,000 in cash from vendor payments rather than depositing the money, which Moran admitted to Pelkey.
A Class B felony is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $20,000.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Infinity Credit Union. It has been updated.