News and Press Releases

Courtney Marie Batey Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings on August 4, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, COURTNEY MARIE BATEY, a 31-year-old resident of Forsyth, pled guilty to bank embezzlement. Sentencing has been set for November 4, 2010. She is currently released on special conditions.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Archer, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

From August 26, 2003, through July 3, 2009, BATEY worked for the Wells Fargo Bank in Forsyth. In 2009 she was a teller/service manager. She supervised approximately four employees, handled teller functions, and assisted with audit controls at the bank.

On June 24, 2009, a bank customer complained that she was shorted $5,000 when she redeemed two CDs. The $5,000 was taken out in a cash withdrawal from the proceeds of the CD. When the customer reported the missing funds, BATEY's activity with the account was scrutinized. BATEY's personal accounts showed $10,000 in cash deposits that were not consistent with her earnings and financial means. Additional investigation revealed that another bank customer BATEY worked with was missing thousands of dollars from her accounts - much of which consisted of cash-back withdrawals when CDs were redeemed.

When Wells Fargo questioned BATEY about the missing funds, she confessed to stealing the $5,000, and further confessed to stealing money from the other bank customer for the last year and a half. BATEY was later interviewed by the FBI and she stated that from October 2007 through June 2009 she stole cash out of her teller drawer. She would then replace the money in her teller drawer with funds she took from customer accounts. Additional records demonstrate that BATEY embezzled approximately $84,000 from Wells Fargo Bank.

BATEY faces possible penalties of 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine and at least 5 years supervised release.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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