News and Press Releases

Kari L. Alfred Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula, on January 29, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, KARI L. ALFRED, a 25-year-old resident of Lolo/Missoula, appeared for sentencing. ALFRED was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 12 months and 1 day
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Restitution: $73,143
  • Community Service: 100 hours
  • Supervised Release: 5 years

ALFRED was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to embezzlement.

In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

From January of 2005 until February of 2008, ALFRED worked as a teller at Farmer's State Bank, a federally-insured financial institution.

In October of 2006, ALFRED began embezzling money from the bank.

In February of 2008, bank personnel discovered approximately $73,000 in missing funds during an audit conducted while ALFRED was on leave.

ALFRED was later interviewed by the FBI and admitted stealing the money. She said she started by taking small sums of money - often $100 - and "force-balancing" the bank's computer system. She soon graduated to larger sums, often taking as much as $2,000 per day. ALFRED stated that her crime went unnoticed because no one was responsible for balancing the teller cash vault. She was aware of the bank's surveillance system, but avoided detection by turning her back to the cameras and placing the money in her drawer.

In addition to ALFRED'S admissions, the government would have introduced at trial computer records and surveillance photos showing some of ALFRED'S fraudulent transactions, including transactions conducted by ALFRED at the bank's drive-up window when no customers were present. The government would have also introduced testimony explaining how ALFRED reconciled her theft in the computer and why the theft was not uncovered until ALFRED was on leave and the bank conducted an audit of the teller cash vault.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that ALFRED will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, ALFRED does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.



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