Published On: Fri, Jul 5th, 2019

Pittsburgh Woman, Melissa Kane Helped her Bank Robber Son, Brent Richards Hide from Police

A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of accessory after the fact, for assisting the “Sorry, Happy Holidays” bank robber, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Melissa Kane, 48, pleaded guilty to Count Three of a three-count Indictment, which also charges her son, Brent Richards, who pleaded guilty to Count One of the Indictment, charging him with armed bank robbery, on June 25, 2019, before United States District Judge Peter J. Phipps.

Photo/Stefan Schweihofer

In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that Ms. Kane knew that her son, Brent Richards, robbed the Citizens Bank located at 31 Foster Avenue in Pittsburgh, at gun point, on January 8, 2018, and she assisted Mr. Richards, following the robbery, by allowing him to stay at her residence, disposing of the clothing worn by Mr. Richards and the bb gun used by Mr. Richards, and later denying any knowledge of or involvement in the bank robbery, when interviewed by law enforcement. The Court was further informed that Ms. Kane was engaged in a physical altercation with Mr. Richard’s former girlfriend, who Ms. Kane believed would tell law enforcement that Mr. Richards had robbed the bank.

Judge Phipps scheduled sentencing for Nov. 6, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. The law provides for a maximum sentence of 12 years and six months in prison, a fine of $125,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Ms. Kane remains on bond pending the sentencing hearing.

Assistant United States Attorneys Rebecca L. Silinski and Timothy M. Lanni are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Crafton Borough Police Department, the Allegheny County Sherriff’s Office, and the West Mifflin Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution of Kane.

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