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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Former Va. bank manager gets 2 years for fraud.

A former Colonial Heights bank manager who stole about $155,000 from customers was sentenced Thursday to two years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge John Gibney also ordered Shannon S. Hamilton to make restitution to SunTrust bank, which covered the victims' losses, and banned her from ever working for another financial institution.

The Prince George County woman offered a tearful apology before hearing her sentence.

"I lost my perspective and moral grounding," she said. "I live every day thinking about what I've done, and it haunts me."

Hamilton also turned to face a victim's granddaughter who testified against her and said she was "very, very sorry."

Gibney said the apology was one of the most sincere he has heard in court.

"Everyone's sorry when they get caught, but obviously this has touched you deeper than that," the judge told Hamilton.

However, he also noted that Hamilton targeted some vulnerable, elderly customers in a "fairly elaborate" three-year scheme that resulted in four bank employees being fired for following her directions to violate bank policies.

According to court records, the Prince George County woman misappropriated customers' funds while managing the bank branch from February 2008 to November 2011. She used the money for repayment of her own 401k loan and living expenses. She also repaid some victims with money taken from other victims.

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