New owner of old Crescent Beach accused of $19M bank fraud

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A local bank is accusing the new owner of the former Crescent Beach Hotel of fraud.

Five Star Bank filed a federal lawsuit against Katherine Mott, who owns several local restaurants including Monroe’s and The Wintergarden. She’s accused of a check-kiting scheme that defrauded the bank of nearly $19 million.

According to the complaint, she deposited dozens of checks with insufficient funds into accounts at Five Star Bank, then transferred money out of those accounts.

According to Five Star Bank, “During routine monitoring, the Company discovered fraudulent activity associated with deposit transactions conducted over the course of several days ending in early March by an in-market business customer of Five Star Bank. We have informed law enforcement regarding this in-market customer’s activity and intend to fully cooperate with their investigation and are also performing our own. The fraudulent activity identified is believed to be an isolated occurrence related to a single, deposit-only relationship and has no impact on other customers’ information or funds. We can’t comment on the legal proceedings or the business customer’s fraudulent activity beyond what we’ve publicly disclosed and have outlined in our complaint.”

News10NBC reached Mott by phone Tuesday, but she declined comment.

A statement on behalf of the restaurant’s owner reads:

“As has become all too common in today’s world, allegations that are released to the media are seen as facts. As the legal process plays out, we want to assure our customers, those that have events booked with us, and the community we love and serve that we will continue, as we always have, to be who we always have been…great employers, community partners, and a company that has always valued [its] customers as they deserve to be treated.

As the legal matters move forward and through the process the company will continue, not only to operate and continue to provide high quality products and services but will do so as we always have…at a higher level than any group has ever done in the area.”

Mott recently announced plans to reopen the former Crescent Beach in May.