Photo Credit: Matt Stone
A former Weymouth Bank executive allegedly fed his drug habit by embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from accounts established for his young niece and nephew after their parents were killed in a car crash, authorities say.
William R. Hartnett, 45, of Weymouth, pleaded not guilty yesterday in Norfolk Superior Court to three counts each of embezzlement and larceny over $250. He was released on his own recognizance pending a June 9 pre-trial hearing and left the courthouse without comment.
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Hartnett was vice president of retail investments and business development in 2014 when the bank’s anti-money-laundering system alerted management to “unusual” activity involving checking and savings accounts controlled by Hartnett, who was appointed sole guardian of his young niece and nephew in November 2009 — a month after his sister and brother-in-law were killed in a crash, according to a police report.
Bank executives told police that about $247,000 was withdrawn over the course of 11 months, and that Hartnett had recently returned from a drug treatment center.
“Mr. Hartnett made verbal statements to bank management, admitting that substantial sums of cash withdrawals from the custodian and trustee accounts were allegedly converted for his own personal use to fund illicit habits,” police said.
At the time, Weymouth police said they planned to seek a court order barring anyone from accessing the $54,000 remaining as of March 28, 2014.
In April of that year, the Social Security checks the children received monthly had not been deposited into their accounts, and police were investigating whether Hartnett had redirected the checks to an account at another bank.
Ex-bank exec accused of embezzling from orphaned niece, nephew