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Press Release

Former Bank Officer Sentenced to 41 Months’ in Federal Prison for Embezzlement

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

A former officer of the board of Country Bancorporation who embezzled more than $1,000,000 over nearly a decade was sentenced on February 16, 2016, to more than three years in federal prison.

Heidi Wagler, age 50, from Wayland, Iowa, received the prison term after a October 6, 2015, guilty plea to one count of embezzlement by a bank officer.

In a plea agreement, Wagler admitted that from June 2004 through October 2013 she embezzled at least $864,835 from Country Bancorporation, which controlled seven banks, by paying herself salary to which she was not entitled.  At the time, Wagler was an officer and employee of Country Bancorporation and was in charge of doing payroll for each of these banks.  She was also a member of the Board of Directors of one of the banks and her husband, Russell Wagler, was the Director, President, and CEO of that same bank.  Wagler further admitted that, although she was entitled to compensation from Country Bancorporation for doing the payroll for its banks, she paid herself excess compensation from each of the seven banks at various times over the course of her embezzlement.  At sentencing, she also admitted that, from January 2008 through November 2013, she paid her husband more than $200,000 in additional compensation to which he was not entitled.  At the sentencing hearing, the judge stated that Wagler’s crime was a “pure crime of greed, of avarice.”

Wagler was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade.  Wagler was sentenced to 41 months’ imprisonment and fined $50,000.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed, and she was ordered to make $1,065,799 in restitution to Country Bancorporation.  She must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Wagler was released on the conditions of release previously set and is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date yet to be set.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Morfitt and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. 

Court file information at 

The case file number is 15-CR-00089.

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Updated February 17, 2016

Financial Fraud