A former TD Bank executive in Maine who is accused of spending nearly $220,000 of the bank’s money at strip clubs appeared in federal court in Portland on Thursday to be formally charged with felony theft.
Jeffrey Burnham, 41, of Arundel, used his TD Bank corporate credit card 72 times at strip clubs in Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Florida from Feb. 18, 2011, to Feb. 16, 2012, according to court records.
An FBI complaint against Burnham was made public on May 6, but he had not been charged with a crime until appearing in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge John Rich III on Thursday.
Burnham, who was a vice president and regional mortgage sales manager at the bank’s Falmouth office at the time of the alleged offenses, had been issued a court summons and was not taken into police custody. He was joined by four members of his family, who sat in the spectator section of the courtroom.
Burnham wore a dark suit and tie and said little at the hearing. He stood next to his attorney, Sarah Churchill, and answered mostly yes-and-no questions from the judge about his rights. Burnham was not required to enter a plea at the hearing.
The charge against him, theft by a bank officer, is punishable by up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of $1 million.
The judge allowed Burnham to go free after the hearing on a $5,000 unsecured bond, with conditions that he surrender his passport, give a DNA sample and submit to supervision by the federal Probation and Pretrial Services Office.
Rich warned Burnham that if he failed to appear to face the charge, he would be accused of bail jumping and face an additional penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Wolff, refused to say how Burnham spent $220,000 at strip clubs over a one-year period. Details of the specific expenses that Burnham charged to his corporate TD Bank credit card are not disclosed in court records, including an affidavit filed by FBI Agent Paul Pritchard seeking the felony charge.
Burnham did not respond to a reporter’s question in the courthouse. Churchill acknowledged that the people accompanying Burnham at the courthouse were his family members, but declined to answer other questions. When Burnham left, he and his family members, all adults, got into a waiting vehicle and said nothing before driving away.
Burnham left TD Bank in February 2012, after about 14 years with the company and its predecessor, Peoples Heritage Bank. He went on to work for Kennebunk Savings Bank as senior vice president overseeing the bank’s retail banking operations, but no longer works there.
“Burnham justified these expenses by falsely claiming they were for business-related purposes, including conferences, meals with employees or clients and membership dues. TD Bank then paid these expenses using bank funds,” Pritchard said in an affidavit filed with the court.
Burnham allegedly used his corporate card to charge $10,088 on Dec. 2, 2011, at a business he listed on his expenses as “La Grange Boston MA,” which operates the Centerfolds strip club in Boston.
After Burnham left TD Bank, an employee opened his corporate credit card statement and noticed two “suspicious” charges, one to “La Grange Boston MA” and another to “Kenkev II, Inc. Portland ME,” which operates PT’s Show Club in Portland, according to Pritchard’s affidavit.
The FBI learned that Burnham charged about $35,000 to his corporate credit card in less than a month from January to February 2012 at Centerfolds and PT’s Show Club, Pritchard wrote.
Burnham admitted in a written statement to TD Bank’s internal investigators in June 2012 that he used the corporate card for personal expenses, Pritchard wrote.
Federal agents interviewed Burnham at the Portland FBI office on March 27, 2013, when he admitted again that he used the corporate card for personal expenses and certified in writing that his written confession to the bank was accurate, the affidavit says.
A TD Bank spokeswoman, Lauren Moyer, has said the bank will not comment on the case against Burnham.
Kennebunk Savings Bank’s vice president of community relations, Heather Harris, reached Thursday evening said only that Burnham had worked for the bank from February 2012 to November 2013 but declined to comment further.
Kennebunk Savings Bank had said in a news release in May 2013 that Burnham had been promoted to senior vice president. The release said that he was on the Arundel Economic Development Committee and the Arundel Recreation Committee, and was a member of the Kennebunk Fire Society.
Arundel Town Manager Todd Shea said in a phone message Thursday afternoon that Burnham resigned from the town Economic Development Committee in 2012 and never served as an appointed member of the Recreation Committee.
Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at: