Former Bank of America vice president charged with embezzling donations to nonprofits

A former Bank of America senior vice president and her husband have been charged with a scheme to embezzle approximately $2.7 million from the Charlotte-based bank using donations to nonprofits, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston announced this week.

Palestine “Pam” Ace, 45, who worked in the bank’s global wealth and investment management division, and her husband, Jonathan R. Ace, 46, have each been indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. Charges against the Rockland, Mass., couple were announced Monday.

Prosecutors say Palestine Ace used her position at Bank of America to misappropriate money from a marketing budget and transfer it to nonprofits in Boston and Atlanta, via 74 transactions that were each under $50,000. Ace and her husband told the nonprofits that portions of the funds must be returned to ensure that the bank would continue to fund the groups, according to prosecutors.

The nonprofits returned the funding to a Bank of America account to which the defendants had access, or they wrote a check to Jonathan Ace or a third individual, Brianna Alexis Forde, 35, of Boston, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Ace and her husband used some of the embezzled funds to support their lifestyle and pay for personal expenses, including lavish birthday parties and a $17,000 Kawasaki motorcycle, in the scheme that ran from about October 2010 to April 2015.

Bank of America declined to comment. Jonathan Ace attorney Matthew Thompson and Palestine Ace attorney David Duncan declined to comment. An attorney for Forde could not be immediately reached.

Palestine Ace was also indicted on 12 counts of bank fraud and four counts of wire fraud. Jonathan Ace was also charged with two counts of wire fraud and one for engaging in an unlawful monetary transaction. Forde was also indicted on two counts of wire fraud.

Forde was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, as well as two counts of wire fraud.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts