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Jan. 7, 2010


(HOUSTON) - A Montgomery, Texas, woman has pleaded guilty to defrauding the bank where she worked of more than $25,000, U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Brooke Danelle Nelius, 20, a former teller at an Amegy Bank branch in Conroe, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud today in a hearing before United States District Judge Keith P. Ellison, admitting she made unauthorized over-the-counter withdrawals from Amegy Bank customer accounts between March 19 and May 6, 2008. Nelius obtained approximately $25,450 of bank funds, which she used for her purposes by falsifying withdrawal slips and making them appear to originate from the customers when, in fact, they did not.  Nelius 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. When customers complained about withdrawals from their accounts, Amegy Bank corporate security personnel quickly linked Nelius to the fraudulent transactions. On May 7, 2008, Nelius confessed to a U.S. Secret Service agent, admitting she made some unauthorized withdrawals.   
Bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $1 million, followed by a maximum five-year-term of supervised release. Nelius is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30, 2010, and has been permitted to remain on bond pending her sentencing hearing.

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.



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