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Friday, April 16, 2010

Missouri Bank Teller Busted for Embezzlement

A Missouri bank teller could spend four years in prison for allegedly embezzling more than $80,000 from Commerce Bank depositor accounts.

Sandra Geimer, 37, was indicted March 31 on two counts of felony theft; theft that authorities said totaled about $80,000. The U.S. Attorney's office in St. Louis said Geimer, a resident of Festus, Mo., took money from customer accounts when working as a teller supervisor at a Commerce Bank branch in Tesson Ferry, southwest of St. Louis.
A federal grand jury indicted her on two aggravated identity theft counts, each of which could result in a two-year prison term and a fine of as much as $1 million.
U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said several of the victims were elderly or disabled, and did not notice the unauthorized withdrawals until well after they occurred. The alleged withdrawals happened between August 2007 and September 2009, Callahan said.
The case underlines an important part of fighting identity theft. Experts say people should check their bank and credit card accounts routinely, watching for any suspicious activity. That allows any possible theft to be detected and stopped more quickly.
Sandra J. Geimer on June 4 pleaded guilty to charges of embezzling more than $80,000 from customer accounts at the Tesson Ferry Road Branch of Commerce Bank. The thefts occurred between August 2007 and September 2009, according to the United States Attorney's Office.

According to court documents, Geimer was employed by Commerce Bank as a teller supervisor at the Tesson Ferry Branch location, where she had routine interaction with Commerce Bank customers and had access to customer accounts.
Geimer accessed customer accounts and fraudulently withdrew, transferred, and disbursed funds from them without their knowledge or consent, sometimes using demand deposit account (DDA) withdrawal debits.
Some customers were elderly or disabled and were less likely to notice the fraudulent account activity in a timely manner. She sometimes transferred money from one customer's account to another customer's account in an attempt to cover up her fraudulent activity.
Geimer, 37, Festus, pleaded guilty to one felony count of theft by a bank employee. She appeared before U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry. Sentencing has been set for Sept. 8, 2010.
Bank theft carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and up to a $1 million fine. Restitution is mandatory in this case.

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