Former Amarillo Banker Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
A former Amarillo banker pleaded guilty for her role in embezzling thousands of dollars from a local bank, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Heather M. Cooper, 40, pleaded guilty to a felony information charging one count of theft, embezzlement, or misapplication by a bank officer or employee on Monday before Magistrate Judge Lee Ann Reno.
According to court documents, Ms. Cooper began working at FirstCapital Bank of Texas in Amarillo in 2012 as a mortgage loan processor where she met with customers at loan closings and guided them through the mortgage and loan process.
From August 2017 to January 2020, Ms. Cooper admitted to making more than 19 fraudulent withdrawals from at least four bank customers accounts. On at least 18 separate occasions, Ms. Cooper signed a withdrawal slip from the bank customer’s account, which she then used to purchase a cashier's check – each exceeding $1,000 in value. Additionally, Ms. Cooper admitted to making a cash withdrawal from a bank customer's account by forging the customer’s signature on the withdrawal slip.
In plea papers, Ms. Cooper also admitted to using a credit card issued by FirstCapital Bank of Texas for personal expenses including payments to a cell phone company and various restaurants.
In total, Mrs. Cooper caused at least $32,171.00 of losses to the bank and its customers. She now faces up to 30 years in federal prison. A sentencing date is set for April 20, 2021 before U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk.
The FBI and Amarillo Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Taylor is prosecuting the case.