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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Poplar Bluff, Missouri bank employee charged with embezzlement

 The FBI arrested a First Midwest Bank employee Friday on suspicion of embezzling nearly $400,000 from the institution.

Bank teller supervisor Leslie Ann Eastwood Kirby, 38, of Poplar Bluff turned herself in to authorities at approximately 8:30 a.m. at the Poplar Bluff Police Department.

She was taken by FBI agents to a federal holding facility, according to Poplar Bluff police chief Danny Whiteley.

Kirby is accused of taking the funds during a period of time ending March 28, according to a copy of an indictment filed with the Southeastern Division of the U.S. District Court's Eastern District.

"There is no evidence that any customer accounts were involved in the theft," First Midwest executive vice president Dale Dickerson said in a statement. "The bank, like all banks, has insurance to cover this type of incident."

The discrepancy was discovered during an internal audit, he said.

The missing funds were reported to police March 28, said Whiteley, who complimented the bank on its assistance and full cooperation with the investigation.

"We were contacted by officials for First Midwest Bank about a discrepancy in their vault. … We did a preliminary investigation and ascertained it was going to be an internal theft, then contacted the FBI in Cape Girardeau," Whiteley said.

A joint investigation between the two agencies led to Kirby's arrest, he said.

The indictment filed by federal prosecutor Morley Swingle said Kirby "willfully misapplied or embezzled the sum of approximately $397,000 of the funds … in that the defendant wrongfully and without authorization took money that came into her possession as the supervisor of the bank tellers and used it for her own benefit."

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