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Friday, May 28, 2010

Migues pleads guilty to embezzling $2.4 million in Mississippi

Margaret Migues, a former branch operations manager at Hancock Bank in Ocean Springs, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to embezzling $2.4 million from her former customers. Federal prosecutor Ruth Morgan said in court Wednesday that two other bank employees are under investigation for the missing money, but she did not name the individuals.
Migues will be sentenced at 9 a.m. Aug. 24 in U.S. District Court in Gulfport. She faces up to 30 years in prison and $1 million fine.
District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. said restitution could be part of Migues' sentencing.
Migues reportedly stole the money during a period from 1980 through July 2009 from the accounts of about 20 different elderly customers.
Originally, bank officials said she embezzled only $1 million, and called the FBI to take over the case in July.
Restitution was made to the customer accounts in July, bank officials have said.
Migues and Doris Willie Burney were fired from the bank in July after an internal investigation revealed the women were altering accounts, bank officials have said.
Burney has not been arrested, according to court records.
FBI agents discovered the amount was more than the initial report, and Migues was indicted in March.
Morgan said in court in March that bank auditors and employees were willing to testify against Migues.
At Migues' initial court appearance in March, a federal judge set an unsecured bail at $25,000. Guirola said Wednesday that the bail stands until Migues returns to court for sentencing.

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