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SW Va. woman charged with federal bank fraud

Wes Bunch • Jun 6, 2014 at 8:25 PM

ABINGDON — A Southwest Virginia woman is charged with federal bank fraud for allegedly stealing almost $100,000 from a bank accounts her employer, a Lee County attorney, had been appointed to oversee.

Mandie Marie Bishop, 34, of Duffield, was indicted May 27 on a single count of bank fraud following an investigation by U.S. Secret Service agents, records on file in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon show.

According to the criminal complaint, Bishop was working as secretary for Lee County defense attorney Joseph W. Rasnic when she allegedly funneled a total of $98,694 between August 2012 and October 2013 from two bank accounts belonging to another individual for whom he had been appointed guardian and conservator.

Federal investigators wrote in the complaint that Bishop admitted to taking the money to support her cocaine addiction, as well as her husband's own drug problems.

According to the criminal complaint, a Secret Service investigator first approached Bishop at Rasnic's Jonesville office in August 2013 to question her about $10,558 missing from a bank account at Farmers and Miners Bank that her employer controlled.

Bishop reportedly told the investigator that she had written checks from the account to herself and others by forging Rasnic's name.

Bishop told the agent that Rasnic was not aware of the forgeries when they took place. Rasnic reportedly told the Secret Service in September 2013 that he repaid the account with his own money and that Bishop no longer had access to the account.

Special agents reportedly interviewed Bishop a second time in March 2013 after being made aware of $88,136 that had been taken from an account at Lee Bank and Trust Co. that was under Rasnic's conservatorship.

Bishop again reportedly told authorities that she had taken the money, this time to pay for her own addiction to cocaine.

"Bishop said she had no explanation for the theft other than addiction," the complaint stated.

Bishop also reportedly gave authorities a written statement outlining her actions.

During a second interview with special agents, Rasnic reportedly said he would repay the funds taken from Lee Bank.

"Rasnic said he is ultimately responsible for the account and plans to make it whole," the complaint stated. "Rasnic took responsibility for allowing Bishop continued access to the victim's accounts."

Days after that interview, Rasnic reportedly told investigators that he "messed up" by not removing Bishop's access to the accounts sooner.

Bishop was arrested May 28 by Secret Service agents before being released from custody the following day on a $10,000 bond.

A second court date for Bishop has not been set. She is being represented by Abingdon attorney Brian Jackson Beck.

Steven Randall Ramseyer is prosecuting the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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