News and Press Releases

Thomas L. Beckner Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court

Monday, July 23, 2012

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on July 23, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, THOMAS L. BECKNER, a 42-year-old resident of Newport, Oregon (formerly of Belgrade), pled guilty to embezzlement by a bank employee. Sentencing has been set for October 31, 2012. He is currently released on special conditions.

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

From approximately March through May 2012, BECKNER stole $46,880 from Valley Bank of Belgrade, dba Flathead Bank of Montana. BECKNER worked for the bank in an IT capacity, providing service on the bank's network, servers, and ATMs. He was responsible for maintaining, repairing, and replenishing Valley Bank's ATMs.

During the course of his employment, BECKNER realized that he could access the cassettes that contained cash used to replenish the ATMs. He started opening the cassettes and taking money in amounts that ranged from $400 to thousands of dollars.

On May 23, 2012, BECKNER was interviewed by the FBI and admitted to stealing approximately $50,000 from the bank's ATMs. He described in detail how he accessed the money and also described trying to pay back some of the cash by using money he had borrowed from another person to invest in his computer business. Valley Bank of Belgrade audited the ATMs serviced by BECKNER and determined that they were missing $46,880.

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

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.



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