FORMER SOUTH SOUND BANK EMPLOYEE SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR EMBEZZLING FROM CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS
Defendant Stole from Relatives and Elderly Couple
JEFFREY LYNN GIDDINGS, JR., 27, of Tacoma, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to a year in prison, six months of home detention, five years of supervised release and $112,626 in restitution for bank embezzlement. GIDDINGS was employed as an operations manager at the Hawks Prairie, Washington, branch of Key Bank. Between October 2007, and February 2009, GIDDINGS stole more than $100,000 using three different schemes, targeting three different customers. Two of the customers were relatives. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan said, “I’ve seen a lot of bank embezzlement and this is one of the worst.... It was not just one scheme but a series of schemes which indicates a larcenous intent to get money by whatever means were available.”
According to records in the case, GIDDINGS first schemed to steal money from the bank by opening an account in a relative’s name. The relative never gave permission for her social security number to be used to obtain a line of credit and other loans. GIDDINGS handled the paperwork so that no statements were ever sent to the relative. GIDDINGS took out loans totaling $45,000 in this relative’s name. Later, GIDDINGS used the line of credit that another relative had opened, stealing money from that account. Finally, between August 2008, and February 2009, GIDDINGS withdrew more than $50,000 from the account of an elderly couple who were customers at the bank. Ultimately, tellers at the bank became suspicious of GIDDINGS and reported him.
GIDDINGS was indicted for bank fraud and bank embezzlement in November 2009, and pleaded guilty to bank embezzlement in December 2009.
In asking for a significant sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Brian Werner noted that cases such as this one undermines trust in the banking system. “Key Bank restored all of the money that was stolen from the accounts in this case. Still, bank customers believe that their savings and their personal information are secure with a bank, however, this system is dependent on the honesty of bank employees. Rogue employees like Mr. Giddings undercut citizens’ trust in banking institutions,” Mr. Werner wrote to the court.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG).
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian Werner.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.