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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Woman sentenced in bank embezzlement in Indiana

North Vernon resident Tami Rees, 32, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after she pled guilty Jan. 8 in U.S. District Court in New Albany to embezzling thousands of dollars from Napoleon State Bank in Napoleon.
According to court documents, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was contacted in February 2012 with information regarding embezzlement that had taken place at the bank. Investigators identified Rees, a 10-year employee of the bank, as the alleged perpetrator. She was charged in August.
Rees has since admitted that over the course of four years, she deposited $176,157.52 into her personal bank accounts on 89 occasions.
According to the U.S. Attorney Office which prosecuted the case, these unauthorized payments would have been noted, but Rees, who was manager of the bank's ATM Department, would use the bank's computer system to force the account into false balance. This hid her theft from bank management. Because of the high volume of transactions that occur regularly in the ATM system, she was able to carry on her embezzlement scheme for four years.
Over those years, she allegedly paid off her home equity line of credit and a personal loan she obtained from the Napoleon bank. She also made direct deposits into her personal checking accounts.
"She was a loyal customer," noted a Ripley County individual who knew Rees who, at the time of her arrest, was living at Holton. She has since been divorced and has taken her maiden name of Perry.
"When Hoosiers steal from Hoosiers, we all suffer," noted Joseph H. Hogsett, U.S. Attorney. "We all must do our part to combat this culture of corruption-it weakens our economy and harms our sense of community. That is why the U.S. Attorney's Office has in the last year redoubled efforts to hold accountable those who put greed and selfishness ahead of the interests of their employers and our state."
Rees is now awaiting assignment as to what federal prison she will serve her time. Indiana has just one such prison in Terre Haute. Per federal guidelines, 85 percent of the sentence must be served.
A cooperative witness, the court recommended to the Bureau of Pri-sons Rees serve her time close to home.
After her release, she will be on supervised release for 3 years and home detention for the first 9 months. She must complete 24 months of community service at the rate of 12 hours per month (two six-hour days) at the direction of the U.S. Probation Office. She must also undergo counseling and reimburse Napoleon State Bank.

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