Arkansas Mother and Daughter Sentenced to Seven Years Combined in Federal Prison for Bank Fraud, Identity Theft and Theft of Government Funds
Fayetteville, Arkansas –Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Erica L. Keller, age 39 of Elkins, Arkansas, was sentenced today to 37 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $354,054.85 in restitution on one count of Theft, Embezzlement, or Misapplication by Bank Officer or Employee. The Honorable Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Fayetteville.
According to court records, in October 2013, after an incident concerning unauthorized activity on a customer’s loan account, an investigation and review of all loan accounts managed by Keller was initiated at the bank where she worked as a Loan Officer. Following the initiation of the bank’s internal fraud investigation, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation joined the investigation into Keller’s actions. The investigation revealed that Keller, among other things, took cash withdrawals from customer loan accounts at origination; falsified disbursement tickets to withdraw cash from customer loan accounts, savings accounts, and demand deposit accounts; she originated false loans and received the proceeds; Keller misapplied customer loan payments to conceal fictitious loans; and she withdrew funds from customer’s bank accounts to pay on fictitious or inflated loans.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Kim Harris prosecuted the case for the United States.