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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Former branch manager of Belgrade State Bank indicted

A federal indictment was returned Wednesday naming Sheila Aubuchon as the defendant in an alleged scheme to misdirect funds at Belgrade State Bank for her personal use.
Aubuchon was indicted by a federal grand jury on three felony counts of bank fraud, three felony counts of theft or embezzlement by a bank employee and two felony counts of causing Belgrade Bank to fail to file CTRs.
The case is being investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service. Assistant United States Attorney Richard E. Finneran is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The indictment alleges that Aubuchon forged signatures, altered account numbers and evaded bank procedures in order to conceal her misappropriation of more than $120,000 in funds owned by Belgrade State Bank and its customers.
The indictment also alleges that Aubuchon failed to file currency transaction reports (CTRs) relating to these transactions as required by federal law. The financial crimes allegedly took place in Potosi.
According to the indictment, the former branch manager sought out individuals vulnerable to theft and fraud such as the elderly and recently deceased, according to the grand jury. She kept records in her office reflecting the obituaries of recently deceased individuals, a number of whom became her victims.
Once she picked a victim, she forged their signatures and initials, created false documents reflecting transactions and request never approved by the bank or the customer and modified account information, according to the indictment.
The indictment also accuses Aubuchon of processing transactions of more than $10,000 in cash without completing a currency transaction report as required by federal law.
Aubuchon would alter account numbers to indicate her own personal account number and often conduct her fraudulent activities outside normal business hours, according to the indictment.
If convicted, each count of bank fraud and embezzlement carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Failure to file a CTR carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. In determining any actual sentence imposed, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

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