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Ontario woman indicted on bank fraud charges

A federal grand jury has indicted an Ontario woman on five counts of bank fraud, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced Thursday.

Panagiota Loukisas, 54, of North York, opened bank accounts at five banks in Niagara Falls in November 2014, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Moellering, who is handling the case.

She deposited checks drawn on a Canadian bank account held by her company, PM Global Consulting Services, into the five accounts, federal prosecutors said. Loukisas is accused in the indictment of withdrawing significant sums of money from the Niagara Falls bank accounts before the checks were returned to the banks for insufficient funds.

She is accused of fraudulently depositing non-sufficient fund checks valued at more than $83,000 and withdrawing more than $52,000 from the accounts before the scheme was discovered.

Loukisas is to be arraigned July 22 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy, Hochul said. Conviction on the charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.