Two former bank tellers earned prison sentences and were ordered to pay more than $1.6 million in restitution this week for defrauding a Georgia bank, federal law enforcement authorities said.
In a press release, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia said the former tellers – Vicky Martin, 60, of Buckhead (Morgan County), and Brandy Mize, 42, of Eatonton, both in Georgia – pleaded guilty in December to a federal charge of conspiracy to defraud a financial institution. The U.S. Attorney’s office said the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s (FDIC) office of general counsel investigated the case, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
According to the U.S. Attorney, on Tuesday Martin received 21 months’ and Mize 41 months’ imprisonment and five years’ supervised release. The pair were ordered to pay restitution jointly and severally to their former employer, The Peoples Bank in Eatonton, Ga., of the entire amount stolen, $1,663,205.25, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
According to the plea agreement filings, the U.S. Attorney said, Mize was head teller and Martin her assistant at the bank. Beginning as early as seven years ago, the prosecutor said, the pair began embezzling and misapplying bank funds into their personal bank accounts or into the accounts of family members and associates, as well as taking cash from teller drawers and (in Mize’s case) directly from the vault. The defendants also issued cashier’s checks for their benefit, the U.S. Attorney said, all without valid checks or cash being deposited to the bank to support these transactions.
In March 2016, an internal investigation by the bank was started, following reports from other bank employees regarding suspicious activity on the bank’s general ledger, the prosecutor said. The defendants were suspended on March 14, 2016.