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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 13, 2013

Former Bank Branch Manager Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud, False Tax Return

 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former bank branch manager has pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing more than $316,000 from several elderly customers’ accounts and failing to report the embezzled income on her taxes.

Jennifer A. Gunter, 33, of Republic, Mo., waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, to bank fraud and filing a false tax return.

Gunter was the branch manager at the Guaranty Bank at 291 Highway CC in Nixa, Mo., (and earlier at the Guaranty Bank at 1341 W. Battlefield, Springfield, Mo.) from August 2005 until her termination in November 2012. Gunter admitted that, from December 2006 until November 2012, she repeatedly accessed the bank accounts of four elderly bank customers. Gunter fraudulently embezzled a total of $316,598 from those accounts.

Gunter submitted transaction tickets, withdrawal slips, and cashier’s checks on which she forged the names of the account holders in order to withdraw money from the bank accounts. She used the money for personal matters and expenses. Gunter set the customer accounts to “do not mail” status in order to keep the customers from receiving their bank statements and detecting the theft from their bank accounts.

Gunter failed to report this embezzled income on her Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Gunter did not report the additional income of $45,002 for 2009, $70,481 for 2010, $107,119 for 2011, and $35,000 for 2012.  Gunter’s actions resulted in an additional tax due and owing of $7,642 in 2009, $13,305 in 2010, $22,935 in 2011, and $6,258 in 2012.  The total tax loss is $50,140.

Under federal statutes Gunter is subject to a sentence of up to 33 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1.1 million and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, FDIC – Office of Inspector General, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Christian County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.

Updated January 16, 2015