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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Poplar Bluff bank employee pleads guilty to embezzling in Missouri

A former First Midwest Bank employee in Poplar Bluff, Mo., recently pleaded guilty in federal court in Cape Girardeau to embezzling nearly $400,000 from the institution.

Leslie Ann Eastwood Kirby, who had been the bank's teller supervisor, pleaded guilty as charged Thursday to the felony of theft or embezzlement/misapplication by a bank officer before U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr., according to a clerk for the U.S. District Court.

Kirby, the clerk said, is to appear at 10 a.m. Feb. 18 for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson.

The Poplar Bluff woman was accused of taking the funds between Jan. 1, 2007, and March 28.

The indictment alleged Kirby "willfully misapplied or embezzled the sum of approximately $397,000 of the funds, in that (she) 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."

According to earlier reports, an internal auditor conducts regular reviews and audits as part of the bank's normal operations, and the discrepancy reportedly was found during one of those reviews. No customer accounts were involved.

Bank officials reported the missing funds to the Poplar Bluff Police Department, and officers conducted a preliminary investigation to ascertain whether an internal theft had occurred.

The FBI at Cape Girardeau subsequently was contacted, and a joint investigation began.

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