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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Searsport woman admits embezzling $26,000 from bank customers in Maine

A Waldo County woman admitted Thursday in U.S. District Court that she embezzled more than $26,000 from 48 accounts at the Bangor Savings Bank in Searsport while working as a teller.

Brittany Mace, 23, of Searsport used the money to buy oxycodone illegally, according to the prosecution version of events to which she pleaded guilty.

Mace waived indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of bank embezzlement, according to information posted on the federal court’s electronic case filing system. She stole the money between Aug. 23, 2010, and Oct. 25, 2011.

A sentencing date has not been sent.

The embezzlement came to light when a Bangor Savings Bank customer noticed a discrepancy in her account and reported it to the bank, the prosecution version of events said. The amounts taken were as low as $20 but several were more than $1,000. Mace admitted she took more than $10,000 from one customer.

She used a variety of methods to steal the money that included: deleting customer transactions and reprocessing them with cash back; using duplicate withdrawal slips; altering the amounts on the ticket; and forging customers’ signatures, the court documents said. Some of the customers Mace took money from were described as disabled in the court document.

The bank has reimbursed customers for their losses, according to the prosecution version.

Mace faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. She also could be ordered to pay restitution to Bangor Savings Bank.

She remains free on $5,000 unsecured bail pending sentencing.

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