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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 17, 2014

Former Bank Officer Sentenced For Embezzling From Elderly Customers' Accounts

TULSA, Okla. — A former bank Savings Officer at Osage Federal Bank, now known as American Heritage Bank, was sentenced today to one (1) year and one (1) day in federal prison for stealing $147,466.30 from elderly customers’ bank accounts, announced United States Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr. for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Patricia L. Swearingin, 67, of Bartlesville, embezzled bank funds from 23 elderly customers’ accounts through the use of her position as a bank officer from November 2007 to November 2010. Swearingin pleaded guilty on December 10, 2013, to misapplying funds.

Swearingin would withdraw funds from dormant bank accounts that held certificate of deposit interest income owned and held by elderly customers. The average age of the customer was 86 years old. She would forge a customer’s name on a check and present the check to the bank’s drive-through teller, falsely stating that the account customer was waiting in her office for the cash. Swearingin would either deposit the stolen funds into her personal bank account or spend the cash for personal expenses. Most of the stolen funds were used for casino gambling.

In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Court Judge James H. Payne ordered Swearingin to pay restitution to American Heritage Bank in the amount of $159,022.45, which includes the $147,466.30, plus the bank costs of investigating the embezzlement, and forfeited $45,137.02 from her retirement account at American Heritage Bank.

The case was a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bartlesville Police Department, the Washington County District Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Charles L. McLoughlin and Catherine Depew prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

Updated July 14, 2015