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April 16, 2009


(HOUSTON) - A Montgomery, Texas, woman has been indicted for allegedly defrauding the bank where she worked of more than $25,000, acting U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Brooke Danelle Nelius, 19, a former teller at an Amegy Bank branch in Conroe, Texas, was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 8, 2009. Nelius was arrested yesterday and appeared for her arraignment before United States Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy this morning. She pleaded not guilty and has been ordered released on a $50,000 bond pending her trial date on May 29, 2009. 

Nelius is charged with 13 counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. The indictment alleges that between March 19, 2008, and May 6, 2008, Nelius made unauthorized over the counter withdrawals from Amegy Bank customer accounts by falsifying withdrawal slips, making them appear to originate from the customers when in fact they did not. Nelius allegedly forged account holders’ signatures and included identifying information such as their drivers license numbers and dates of birth on the slips and cashed the falsified withdrawal slips by removing Amegy Bank funds from her teller drawer equal to the amount she placed on the slips. According to the indictment during the specified time period, Nelius obtained approximately $25,450 in this manner. 

Each of the 13 counts of bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment and $1 million fine, upon conviction. The aggravated identity theft count, upon conviction, carries a mandatory two-year term of imprisonment to be served consecutive to any term of imprisonment imposed for a bank fraud conviction. 

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the Houston field office of the United States Secret Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen L. Corso.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.



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