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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ex-bank teller pleads guilty to embezzling in Guam

A former Bank of Guam teller on Friday pleaded guilty in federal court to embezzlement by a bank employee, acknowledging she took $7,500 from customer accounts in June and July of this year.

According to the plea agreement, Christine Janelle Lizama, who was hired by the bank in January to work at its Santa Cruz branch, made nine different withdrawals from customer accounts, totaling $7,500.

Documents state she targeted one customer's account -- initials "M.V.Z." -- four different times, withdrawing $1,000 each time.

She acknowledged using her teller station to gain access to account holder information, including account applications and signature cards.

She targeted clients with large dollar balances, documents state, filling out withdrawal slips and forging their signatures.

According to the plea agreement, the maximum penalty for the crime is 30 years in prison, and federal prosecutors have not made any guarantees about what her sentence will be, although they will recommend a low sentence.

She also is required to repay the embezzled money, plus any other restitution required by the federal government.

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