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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bank embezzler sentenced to 18 months in South Carolina

He coached little league baseball, served his community as volunteer firefighter and was described in court as a doting father and loving husband.
But after choosing to take part in a two-man embezzlement scheme in 2005, Jason Nicklous Kizer will serve 18 months in a federal prison.
The Dorchester man known to friends and family as Nick was sentenced Monday for his role in helping drain about $330,000 from inactive accounts at S.C. Federal Credit Union while working for the government-insured lender.
The former finance director of South Carolina's social services agency was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for stealing more than $5 million from the agency, money he has admitted spending on strippers, alcohol and gambling.

"Never in a million years did I think I'd be standing here in this position today," Paul Timothy Moore, 61, said during his two-hour hearing in federal court in Columbia. "I let my negative actions over the course of four years erase all of the positive ones over the previous 16."

Moore, who had worked at the social services agency for 20 years, pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and theft of government funds.

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South Carolina


Marsh tacky gets state designation

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Italian man arrested in Ravenel cocaine case

An Italian citizen charged as part of a cocaine conspiracy that included former S.C. state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel was in custody Friday after more than three years on the run, federal authorities said Friday.

Charleston-area wine expert Pasquale Pellicoro was arrested late Thursday in Belfort, France, the FBI said. It was not clear when Pellicoro would return to the United States, and court records did not list an attorney for him.

Pellicoro, 56, had been on the run since mid-2007, when he failed to appear for a court hearing on a drug conspiracy charge. Authorities said Pellicoro was one of several people who supplied cocaine for Ravenel between January 2005 and June 2007, and prosecutors have said information provided by Ravenel led to Pellicoro's indictment.

He also agreed to repay about $146,000 and will report to a supervised release program for five years after serving his time.

He and accomplice Robert Tam of North Charleston pleaded guilty in April to embezzling from the credit union over several years while working in its Summerville branch.

"I made a dreadful, selfish and very greedy decision when I'd done all this," Kizer told U.S. District Court Judge Sol Blatt Jr. during an emotionally charged hearing in downtown Charleston.

The former account manager, who is 31, offered a tearful apology to his family, his former co-workers and to the credit union, where his mother still works.

More than a dozen relatives and friends were in the courtroom to show support. Several of them stood before Blatt to vouch for Kizer's character, though each recognized the seriousness of the crime. Kizer's punishment was less harsh than what's called for under standard federal sentencing guidelines, partly because of his cooperation with authorities, his show of remorse and a potentially serious medical condition.

It was noted that Kizer had no prior criminal record and that his contributions to the local community included time spent as a baseball coach and as a volunteer firefighter in Dorchester County.

"He's helped save lives and fight fires," said Abigail Walsh, his attorney. Kizer could have been imprisoned for 30 to 41 months, but the government agreed last week to a waiver from normal sentencing guidelines, said assistant U.S. Attorney Rhett DeHart.

Prosecutors previously agreed to drop a charge of aggravated identity theft.

Walsh asked that Kizer's punishment not include incarceration so that he could keep his job and repay the North Charleston-based credit union in full more quickly.

Blatt denied the request, saying that after weighing all the factors he was unable to ignore the "substantial" amount of money that had been stolen. He also pointed to the fact that the embezzlement went on for several years, "not just a day or just a day or two."

"You couldn't erase what you've done," he told Kizer.

Blatt allowed a 90-day grace period before Kizer must report to prison.

Kizer said he has been diagnosed with cancer and won't know the extent of the disease and his treatment until after Jan. 1, when his medical insurance takes effect at his current job selling heating and air-conditioning parts.

Authorities traced the embezzlement scheme to 2005. With Kizer working as an account manager at the credit union and Tam as a risk management analyst, they siphoned off funds until the fall of last year, when they were fired.

Attorneys at Monday's hearing described Tam as the instigator. If not for him, Walsh said, "we wouldn't be here today."

Prosecutors said Tam's job enabled him to identify accounts with little or no activity. He approached Kizer about issuing bank cards in the names of those customers, according to authorities. Kizer then used those cards to withdraw cash from automated teller machines that were not equipped with security cameras. The two men shared the proceeds.

Tam's sentencing had been scheduled for Monday but was postponed at the last minute to an undetermined date. He and Kizer hugged and talked briefly outside the courtroom, minutes before Kizer was called inside.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

California Man Accused Of Embezzling $150K From Armored Car Company; Spends It On Strippers

A man is under arrest after police say he spent nearly $150,000 on strippers. That may not be a crime, but the suspect serviced ATM’s around San Joaquin County, and is accused of stealing money from the machines.

According to the Stockton Record, Orlando Calderon Flores, 27, is accused of embezzling nearly $150,000, and spending all of it on strippers.

The 27-year-old armored car driver is accused of stealing the money from the same Stockton ATM for almost a year straight and spending it at the same Stockton strip club.
No one at the Modesto Garda Cash Logistics office would speak about the arrest, but Flores reportedly was fired once his boss caught on to the alleged theft.
Flores isn’t in custody any longer.
After doing some calculations, if Flores went to the strip club seven nights a week, he would have to spend more than $400 a visit to blow $150,000 in a year’s time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Petersburg bank president says embezzlement charges won't affect bank in Illinois

The president of Petefish, Skiles & Co. said Wednesday that embezzlement charges against a former employee “will have no significant impact on the bank.”

Thomas Prather released the statement a day after former Petersburg bank manager Stephen Bradley, 64, of Petersburg, was charged in federal court with embezzling nearly $835,000 from January 2003 to March 1, 2010.
According to the bank, Bradley joined the Petersburg bank in 2000 and was terminated in March this year.
“All banks are required to have insurance for these types of situations. The bank has worked closely with the victims directly involved in the embezzlement to help minimize the harm done to them and insures a full recovery of any loss,” Prather said in the statement.
Prather said the embezzling involved creation of fraudulent loans and misappropriation of funds.
In addition to Petersburg, the bank has offices in Virginia, Tallula, Greenview, Chandlerville and Havana.

Former Binghamton-area banker sentenced for embezzling client's money in New York

BINGHAMTON -- A former local bank manager will spend four years in federal prison for embezzling $410,000 in cash from a Dickinson man's safety deposit box, a judge said Tuesday.

Thomas Cararo, 40, now of North Carolina, can spend the holidays with his family, wife and children, but he'll have to surrender Jan. 4 to officers with the U.S. Marshals Service to begin serving his sentence, said Senior U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. McAvoy during Cararo's sentencing in Binghamton's federal court.
McAvoy told Cararo that while taking the money was "despicable," Cararo also had a clean record until the embezzlement.
"You can be pushed into a position where you don't use your judgment," McAvoy said.
The judge gave Cararo less prison time than federal sentencing guidelines recommend as the minimum, which is four years, 11 months.
The former Citizens Bank branch manager could have received up to 30 years for his June 11 jury conviction on a single count of embezzlement.
"This whole experience has humbled me in so many ways, more ways than I can even tell you," Cararo told McAvoy. "I loved what I did. I loved my job working in a bank."
Cararo will also have to pay back the $410,000 -- $256,000 to Leonard Wilcox and $154,000 to Cararo's former employer, Citizens Bank.
The bank reimbursed Wilcox with $154,000, the amount of cash that bank records indicated was exchanged as damaged or destroyed.
Wilcox testified at Cararo's trial that he kept about $484,000 in cash in a floor safe in the garage to his house in the Town of Dickinson. But in 2006 flooding, the cash was soaked and contaminated by sewage.
Wilcox testified he exchanged the damaged cash for new money at the Chenango Bridge branch of Citizens Bank, where Cararo was then the branch manager.
Bank records showed about $154,000 in damaged or contaminated money was exchanged. However, tellers at the bank testified at trial that they exchanged thousands in cash with Wilcox that wasn't recorded as damaged.
Wilcox testified he took hundreds of thousands of dollars in a shopping bag in October 2006 to the 84 Court St. location of Citizens Bank, where Cararo was transferred as bank manager,
Wilcox put the cash in a safe deposit box, he testified. When he returned on Nov. 7, 2007, to check on his money, the box had been redrilled and rekeyed. When box No. 418 was opened, all that remained of the $410,000 was $74,000, Wilcox testified.

Cararo left Citizens in August 2007 for a job with Bank of America in North Carolina. Box No. 418 was drilled and rekeyed in June 2007 at the direction of Cararo, witnesses testified in June.
An FBI investigation of Cararo's bank records showed Cararo used cash payments of up to $65,000 to pay for home improvements and renovations, as well as furniture, at two houses he owned in the Town of Dickinson -- one street over from Wilcox's residence.
However, the FBI investigation could not account for the amount of cash Cararo was alleged to have taken.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Walsh, who prosecuted the case, on Tuesday called McAvoy's sentencing of Cararo fair.
Cararo's attorney, federal Public Defender Lisa Peebles, didn't agree with that assessment.
"I think it's really sad," Peebles said. "I don't believe for a second (Wilcox) lost more than $400,000."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bank employee accused of embezzlement in California

Norma Pena, 37, of Delhi, was arrested Friday after a federal grand jury returned a 14-count indictment Thursday, charging her with embezzlement by a bank employee of more than $217,000 and criminal forfeiture, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner said.
Pena was scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Beck for arraignment in Fresno on Friday.
According to the indictment, Pena was an assistant branch manager at the Citibank branch in Ceres and used her position to embezzle more than $217,000 between March 2009 and February 2010.
As assistant branch manager, Pena oversaw daily branch operations, operational controls, the teller line and bank teller employees.
The indictment alleges that as part of her scheme, Pena created her own teller cash drawer over which she had control.
A teller cash drawer contains the cash received by a specific branch employee or teller from various bank sources such as branch customers, the branch vault, and other branch tellers. Any amounts of cash placed in a specific cash drawer are tallied by an electronic branch accounting system, which also records the total amount.
When Pena would receive cash, instead of placing it in her cash drawer, she would allegedly keep some of it for herself. The branch accounting system would electronically show that the cash had been placed in her cash drawer. As a result, her cash drawer contained less cash than the amount shown electronically, the news release said.
To hide the alleged discrepancy, Pena would make electronic transfers in the branch accounting system, purportedly from her cash drawer to the branch automatic-teller machine vault systems, without actually transferring any cash from her cash drawer to the ATM vaults. Pena would then oversee the cash counts of the ATM vaults and other cash counts at the branch, in which she would cover up the amount of cash missing, the news release continued.
During her alleged scheme, Pena also engaged in check kiting by writing checks with insufficient funds from one financial account to cover and keep afloat insufficient checks she had written on other financial accounts.
If convicted of the charges, Pena faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Old Town, Maine Woman Pleads Guilty to Bank Embezzlement

A woman from Old Town faces up to 30 yearin prison for embezzling as much as $30,000 from Bangor Savings Bank.

44-year-old Karen Lebreton pleaded guilty yesterday in U-S District Court in Bangor.
She admitted that when she worked at the bank between December 2008 and November 2009 she took money from at least three customers accounts.
Lebreton requested a teller withdraw the funds in the form of cashier's checks.
Investigators discovered that last year Lebreton deposited six
cashier's checks worth $22,500 into her account at a credit union.
A sentencing date for Lebreton has not been set.

Sun Prairie, Wisconsin Man Charged with Embezzlement

Lance E. Bauer, 26, Sun Prairie, Wis., is charged with bank embezzlement in an

indictment returned by the grand jury yesterday and unsealed today. The indictment alleges that while employed by Park Bank in Madison, Bauer embezzled over $227,760 from that institution.

If convicted, Bauer faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison. The

charge against him is the result of an investigation conducted by the Madison office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of this case has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Grant C. Johnson.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Former Bank Employee In Mississippi Sentenced For $2 Million Embezzlement Scheme

Sandra Jones, 63, of Greenville, Mississippi, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for embezzling nearly $2 million from Planters Bank in Indianola, where she had been employed. According to authorities, Jones misappropriated funds from customer accounts. Jones, who pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud, was also ordered to pay $1.9 million in restitution

Woman charged with embezzlement in West Virginia

A Morgantown woman was arrested by the Monongalia County Sheriff 's Department on a felony embezzlement charge after allegedly taking more than $1,000 from her employer, BB&T Bank.

Tiffany J. White, 24, was arraigned Wednesday in Monongalia County Magistrate Court and bail was set at $5,000.
White allegedly took the money in 2009 while working as a bank employee, according to the criminal complaint.
Sheriff Al Kisner said White worked at several local BB&T branches. She was a vault teller during her time with the company.
He declined to reveal the exact amount she embezzled and how she did it, because the information could be used during a criminal trial. He said he didn't want to influence the jury before a trial.
The bank reported the embezzlement to the sheriff 's department after it was discovered during an audit, Kisner said.
The department based its charges on bank audits, White's confession and money turned over to bank authorities during a surprise audit, according to the criminal complaint.
If convicted, White faces a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

4 charged in alleged abduction, Kan. bank robbery

A teller who was found bound to a chair at a suburban Kansas City bank is among four people charged with stealing money from the facility.

Twenty-year-old Michael Grace told police Wednesday he had been abducted from outside his apartment complex that morning and forced to drive to the U.S. Bank branch in Overland Park where he worked. Grace said his abductor forced him to open the bank and then robbed it.
A federal complaint filed Friday says Grace, 18-year-old Brenden L. Connors, 20-year-old David Batson and 28-year-old Jacob McWhirt admitted the robbery was staged. All are from Overland Park.
The four are charged with theft/embezzlement/misapplication by a bank officer and are scheduled for a court hearing Friday afternoon.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Archer County Bank Manager Charged with Embezzlement in Kansas

Archer County Sheriff's Lieutenant Jack McGuinn says 34-year-old Thomas Jason Allen was a branch manager at Archer City American National Bank.
McGuinn says last friday a bank clerk discovered money was missing when she got $10,000 out of the vault to cash a customer's check.

Investigators say $300 was reported missing from each one thousand dollar stack and that's when an audit was conducted.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Audit shows no missing bank money after CEO's death in Michigan

A forensic audit on the operations of Community Central Bank following the disappearance of the institution's former CEO David Widlak found no missing money or irregularities.However, the Mount Clemens-based bank was ordered by state and federal regulators to comply with a lengthy list of corrective measures outlined in a consent order to strengthen the bank's financial condition.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, officials said the forensic analysis uncovered no unauthorized transactions by Widlak, who later turned up dead from a gunshot wound to the back of the head.
"We remain baffled and deeply saddened by the violent death of our friend and colleague," acting CEO Ray Colonius said in the statement.
Widlak, 62, of Grosse Pointe Farms, was reported missing on Sept. 20 after his car was found in the bank's parking lot and his office was in disarray. His body was found Oct. 17 by a pair of duck hunters in a marshy section of Lake St. Clair in Harrison Township.
After a pair of autopsies, a gunshot wound was found in the back of Widlak's head and a .38-caliber handgun he owned was found nearby in the muddy water.
The Macomb County Sheriff's Office and Macomb County Medical Examiner are working to complete their investigation into whether his death was a suicide or murder. A number of toxicology and ballistic tests will help make that determination.
In the days following his disappearance, the Macomb Daily reported Widlak had moved back to Michigan from Las Vegas because he had lost a lot of money gambling, raising speculation he was involved in illegal activity at the bank such as embezzlement.
But the audit, conducted by independent accountants Plante & Moran, PLLC, did not turn up any "unauthorized or problematic transactions, or any circumvention of internal controls on the part of Mr. Widlak," according to the bank's statement.
The statement also acknowledged Community Central Bank has been directed to a consent order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) to take steps to bolster the bank's standing.
Under terms of the consent order, effective Nov. 1, 2010, the bank has agreed to:
* Increase board oversight and conduct an independent study of management
* Improve regulatory capital ratios
* Charge-off certain classified assets
* Reduce its level of loan delinquencies and problem assets
* Limit lending to certain borrowers
* Revise lending and collection policies
* Adopt and implement new profit, strategic and liquidity plans
* Correct loan underwriting and credit administration deficiencies
In addition, the order must obtain prior regulatory approval before paying cash dividends or the appointment of any senior executive officers or directors.
Community Central Bank also is not allowed to accept brokered deposits without a waiver from the FDIC and must comply with certain deposit rate restrictions.
According to the statement, the consent order is the result of discussions regulators had with the bank earlier this year. It will remain in effect until it is changed or terminated by the FDIC or the OFIR.
In his statement, the bank's acting CEO said Community Central Bank like many commercial, real estate and business lenders in Michigan faces unprecedented challenges due to the economic downturn and the decline of values in real estate collateral in the bank's loan portfolio.
"The board and management are committed to doing everything possible to comply with the agreement," Colonius said in the statement.
Community Central Bank's financial situation has grown dark over the past year.
Recent quarterly reports show the lender lost $12.9 million in the first half of 2010, compared to $13 million for all of 2009.
Bauer Financial Inc., which rates banks nationwide on a five-star system based on financial documents, gave Community Central zero stars for the first and second quarters of 2010.
News of the forensic audit gave the bank's stock a mild uptick. It went from 52 cents a share on Thursday to 60 cents by the end of Friday.

Main Line bank manager facing embezzlement charges in Pennsylvania

A Willistown bank manager is facing 158 charges related to the embezzlement of money from the bank, as well as embezzling from a deceased aunt.Carol B. Weir, 61, was arrested Thursday by Malvern Police after allegedly stealing $43,533 from an ATM machine at the Malvern Federal Bank, where she worked. Police also allege Weir took two checks for $30,000 each that were from a deceased aunt’s investment account and deposited them into her daughter’s account without permission from her aunt’s estate.
The investigation began in August when police were contacted by Malvern Federal. Police eventually learned Weir was in some kind of financial trouble, which led to her allegedly stealing from the ATM machine and her aunt. Police allege she siphoned off cash as she filled the ATM machine, one of her duties as manager.
“I’ve known Carol Weir for years as the manager of Malvern Federal, and it’s unfortunate that it came to this,” said Malvern Police Officer Joseph Cordone, who handled the investigation.
After Weir learned police were investigating her, she resigned from her position at the bank. She and her attorney have since been cooperating with police, Cordone said. Weir allegedly confessed to stealing the money out of the ATM machine, according to court documents.
Among the charges levied against Weir are 13 first-degree felony charges of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, 11 second-degree felony charges of forgery and a host of third-degree felonies, including theft by deception, identity theft, unlawful use of a computer and computer trespass.
“It was an involved investigation, but we’re satisfied with the result,” Cordone said. “Carol Weir and her attorney are cooperating fully with the police department and the District Attorney’s office.”
Weir was arraigned Thursday before Magisterial District Judge Chester F. Darlington and has since waived her preliminary hearing. Her formal arraignment is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Nov. 18 in the county courthouse, according to online court documents.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

FBI: Fugitive Oregon banker was 'heavy gambler'

Wells Fargo fired Saia for opening fraudulent accounts
Federal agents continue to search for a former Coos Bay Wells Fargo employee who is believed to have laundered money, stolen identities and committed credit card and bank fraud involving funds of some elderly customers.
Several suffer from cancer and other physical ailments.
FBI Special Agent Jason Cherry said federal agents think 37-year-old Shawna Saia, also known as Shawna Saia-Moore, may have fled to Las Vegas.
'She's a heavy gambler," Cherry said.
Saia may have also headed to be with family in Kona, Hawaii. According to her Facebook account, she lists her hometown as Hilo, Hawaii.
Federal investigators and Coos Bay police went to Saia's Coos Bay home Thursday to serve an arrest warrant and raid it for evidence of identity theft, aggravated identity theft, credit card fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, laundering of monetary instruments and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.
Cherry said Saia was last seen dropping off her child at a local school at about 8 a.m. that day. She never returned to her 1384 Montana Ave. home.
We just missed her. ... I don't know if we passed her or a neighbor called her, but somehow she figured out about the search and turned off her phone," Cherry said.
At the house, agents found 50 or more prepaid gambling cards for casinos throughout Oregon and in Las Vegas, as well as 50 or more Louis Vuitton, Coach and other high-end purses.
Before she took her job with Wells Fargo, Saia worked as a rooms division manager at The Mill Casino-Hotel from March 2003 to July 2005, said Mill spokesman Ray Doering.
Cherry noted that she has no known criminal history.
Federal agents became interested in Saia when Wells Fargo personnel fired her in August for opening bank accounts for customers without their knowledge to obtain commissions, Cherry wrote in an arrest and search warrant affidavit. She had been hired at the Coos Bay branch, 200 N. Broadway, in August 2006 as a teller. She eventually rose to assistant manager.
Two of her regular customers later reviewed their accounts and discovered multiple unauthorized transactions had been made.
Saia may have taken as much as $1.2 million in funds and gold coins from account holders.
Victims include a man who took Saia on fishing trips, excavated her backyard, and eventually trusted her with his safe deposit box keys before undergoing cancer surgery.
After Saia was terminated, (he) checked his safe deposit box and discovered that approximately 10 gold coins ... were missing," the affidavit said.
The man later said Saia showed him firearms that included assault rifles.
Another victim with medical problems described Saia 'as a best friend" before learning her money was missing and her line of equity at the bank was about $120,000 over what should have been withdrawn.
Sean Hoar, an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, said there may be other victims.
Anyone caring for a family member who banks at Wells Fargo should consider checking that person's finances to ensure he or she has not been victimized, he said.
If there is evidence, they should contact Wells Fargo, then Cherry at 541-349-2359.
Saia is described as a 5-foot-6-inch woman, weighing 150 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes.
Shawna Leimomi Moore-Saia used to work for Wells Fargo but when the bank started to receive complaints from customers that their money was disappearing, she was sacked and reported to the authorities. She promptly absconded and has been in hiding since August. Now she has surrendered to face federal charges.

The FBI put the woman who has a number of aliases used to be a hostess in a casino in Oregan.

Her FBI wanted poster says she was wanted for her alleged involvement in the theft of a large amount of money from a bank in Coos Bay, Oregon. She allegedly embezzled the money from the bank by targeting vulnerable, elderly, and sick customers and their accounts while working as an employee of the bank from August of 2006 until August of 2010. Saia Moore, born in Hawaii, was charged with multiple counts of a variety of federal white collar crimes in the United States District Court, District of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, on 27 October, 2010 and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

The charges include identity fraud, credit card fraud, embezzlement and money laundering plus the inevitable wire fraud

Odessa, Texas woman admitted stealing $31K from local bank

An Odessa woman is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in federal court for stealing about $31,000 from a local bank.
Susan Louise Bryan, 48, a former loan processor at First Basin Credit Union, pleaded guilty in August to one count of embezzlement by a bank employee.
According to court documents, Bryan opened a line of credit in April 2008 in the amount of $6,500 in her sister’s name.
“In order to get the line of credit approved, she accessed another employee’s account without her knowledge or permission,” states a factual basis accompanying Bryan’s guilty plea. “Over the next two years, (she) increased the line of credit and gave herself loan add-ons.”
Bryan approved the increases and add-ons by repeatedly accessing her co-worker’s account and then transferred the money to herself, family members and friends, court documents show. She was “immediately fired” after the bank manager discovered the theft, which reportedly occurred between April 2008 and March 2010.
Special Agent Shawn Mundy of the U.S. Secret Service phoned Bryan’s sister in Tyler, who according to court documents denied any knowledge of the “false account” created in her name. Bryan later told Mundy in an interview that she created the account and embezzled the funds “so that she could get some extra money,” the factual basis states. A grand jury indicted Bryan in late May.
Bank officials declined to comment on the case. Bryan, who is free on $10,000 bond, has an unlisted number and could not be reached for comment. Her attorney did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
Bryan is scheduled to be sentenced at 3 p.m. Thursday before U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson. The charge of embezzlement by a bank employee carries a possible penalty of up to 30 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Amarillo, Texas Bank Teller Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Around $93,000

Former bank teller Megan Elaine Hahn admitted to stealing around $93,000 from the teller drawer while working at the First Bank Southwest Sleepy Hollow branch at 45th and Coulter over a two-year period. She was putting the bank's money in her own accounts and spending it.
Hahn pleaded guilty Tuesday in Federal court to one count of Theft by Bank Employee. She admitted she knowingly embezzled funds from the bank and, that by doing so, she intended to defraud the bank.
Hahn admitted to manipulating the balance of her teller drawer on her computer, as well as falsifying cash in and cash out tickets. Documents say she started stealing the money "in or about 2008" and was caught when she confessed to bank managers on May 18, 2010, after seeing auditors arrive. But one bank official familiar with the case told KAMR a different story. He said it was the auditors who actually reported the theft to management, who then confronted Hahn.
The same official told KAMR neither the bank nor their outside accounting firm, who specialize in internal audits, had ever seen an embezzlement case on the scale of Hahn's. He also said since the incident, First Bank Southwest has put security measures in place to make sure it doesn't happen again, though he said he wouldn't specify for security reasons.
The bank says no customers were affected by the embezzlement and that the only loss came to the bank.
An employee at the U.S. District Court in Amarillo said Hahn's sentencing date has not been set. The woman told us there's a 45-day waiting period until that date is set.
According to court documents, maximum prison time for Theft By Bank Employee is 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million, or "twice any pecuniary gain to the defendent or loss to the victim(s)."