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Former Bank Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2009

Rock Island, Ill. – Sentencing is scheduled for January 2010 for a former employee of a Moline, Illinois, bank who pled guilty yesterday to embezzlement. Sandra L. Savala, 41, of Silvis, Illinois, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge John A. Gorman, and entered guilty pleas to one count each of embezzlement and making false entries in bank records.

According to the factual basis of the plea agreement and during court proceedings, Savala admitted that from 1996 to February 2004, while she was employed at Southeast National Bank, in Moline, Illinois, she embezzled approximately $481,000 in cash from the bank. Savala, who was employed by the bank for approximately 13 years, from 1991 to February 2004, was promoted from a Teller position to Loan Processor, Teller Manager, and Banking Center Manager. Savala admitted that in 1996, she began embezzling cash from the bank, first from the ATM machine and later, the bank vault. Savala used the bank’s general ledger accounts to hide the shortage created by the missing cash. According to the plea agreement, the bank’s general ledger transaction records reflect an increasing cash shortage, from $11,500 beginning in July 1996, to $480,000 in February 2004.

Sentencing has been scheduled on January 22, 2010 before U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm. Each offense, embezzlement and making false entries in bank records with intent to defraud, carries a statutory maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. The defendant may also be ordered to pay restitution to the victim.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John K. Mehochko.

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