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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Final defendant in embezzlement from southwest Kansas bank pleads guilty

A fourth defendant in the embezzlement of up to $84,000 from a southwest Kansas bank has pleaded guilty.

The U.S. Attorney's office says 33-year-old Hattie Wiginton pleaded guilty Monday to one count of theft from Western State Bank in Ulysses. She faces up to 10 years in federal prison at her sentencing March 24.

Three of Wiginton's former co-workers at the bank pleaded guilty earlier. Ashley Cravens, Linda Wise and Amber Gutierrez, all of Ulysses, will be sentenced in February.

Prosecutors said the defendants began stealing in 2008 by making deposits into each other's accounts, hiding the shortage by lying about the balance in the bank's vault.

In July 2010, three of the women staged a holdup of the bank to cover up the shortage of cash in the bank.

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