Charlotte woman will spend 2 years behind bars for stealing nearly $500K from retirees

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte woman was sentenced Thursday to more than two years in prison after admitting to stealing nearly half a million dollars from people who thought she was setting up their retirement accounts.

Channel 9 has reported in the past on Cynthia Williams-Singleton, who was accused of going to great lengths to take the victims’ money.

Investigators said she was a customer service representative at a Charlotte call center and had access to retirement fund records.

Agents said she fraudulently withdrew about $458,000 from eight participant accounts without authorization. She was also accused of submitting fake death certificates to initiate beneficiary payments to herself, her immediate family and relatives.

According to court documents, Williams-Singleton carried out the fraud by accessing retiree’s accounts when they called the call center. After speaking with the victim and discovering that they were unsure or unaware of his or her account balance, Williams-Singleton told the caller that the participant’s account was either empty or had less funds than it did. She then added herself, her relatives and others as beneficiaries of that person’s account.

Using her access to customers’ retirement fund records, Williams-Singleton made unauthorized transfers of funds from the retirement accounts into bank accounts in her own name or under her control.

Most of the victims are older than 70.

Williams-Singleton was sentenced to 27 months in prison and two years of supervised release. The maximum penalty she was facing was 20 years in prison.

She was also ordered to pay $462,265 as restitution.