Bridal shop owner to plead to stealing $5M from medical college group

Nov. 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- A Maryland woman was scheduled to appear in federal court Monday to plead to charges she embezzled $5.1 million from a non-profit agency, officials say.

Ephonia Green was known for donating nearly 300 wedding gowns to military brides from her dress shop in Upper Marlboro, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Court documents said the money was stolen from the Association of American Medical Colleges where Green worked as a $56,000-a-year administrative assistant.

Green, 44, allegedly embezzled the money by creating business names that closely resembled companies the association already had relationships with. The court documents charged Green created hundreds of fake invoices for the fictitious companies and deposited the checks into bank accounts she opened for the fake companies.

Court files indicate nearly $1.4 million in checks were made out to Green's bridal shop, Couture Miss Bridal & Formal.

Another $3.7 million in nearly 200 false invoices were made out to Green's "Brookings Institute," a similar name to that of the Brookings Institution policy center.

Green was fired in July after a bank withheld payment on a $113,000 check to an account Green had created two days earlier. The bank also notified the association.

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