News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Belview woman sentenced for embezzling from Minnwest Bank

January 16, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 48-year-old woman from the southwestern Minnesota community of Belview was sentenced for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the customers of Minnwest Bank, in Marshall, Minnesota, where she worked. United States District Court Judge John R. Tunheim sentenced Barbara Kaye Rechtzigel to 24 months in federal prison on one count of embezzlement by a bank officer. The judge also ordered her to pay $1,013,018.27 in restitution to the bank. Rechtzigel was charged on July 23, 2012, and pleaded guilty on August 6, 2012.

In her plea agreement, Rechtzigel admitted that from 1998 through June of 2012, she embezzled the money for her personal use, primarily to pay off shopping debts. When she was terminated from employment on June 4, 2012, Rechtzigel was the senior operations manager at the bank’s Marshall location.

To carry out her embezzlement scheme, Rechtzigel created false paperwork to make bank customers believe their CDs were being renewed and earning interest, when, in fact, she was stealing and spending the money. The bank ultimately repaid the customers victimized by the scheme. In total, the bank paid out more than $1 million.

This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Marshall Police Department, with assistance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation—Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Otteson.

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