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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Former InSouth Bank Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Almost $900,000

Memphis, TN A former bank employee has pled guilty to embezzlement. Lawrence J. Laurenzi, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the plea today.

Lauren Melissa McDivitt, 46, of Covington, Tennessee, appeared before United States District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman and entered a guilty plea to a one-count information alleging she embezzled $888,470 between 2006 and 2016, from InSouth Bank where she was employed as the Branch Administrator at the Atoka, Tennessee branch.

According to information presented in court at the time of her plea, McDivitt accomplished the theft by creating false and fraudulent withdrawal tickets to make it appear that bank customers with IRA and CD accounts were withdrawing funds. To conceal theft, McDivitt signed customers up to receive monthly statements online via e-mail, and linked the customer accounts to a dummy/fake e-mail account where the statements, which reflected the unauthorized withdrawals would be e-mailed.

McDivitt thereafter prepared fraudulent monthly statements, which reflected interest accrued, but omitted her unauthorized withdrawals. McDivitt mailed the fraudulent statements to the customers. In some instances, McDivitt also made internal transfers between accounts of various customers to cover amounts she had taken from other customers.

McDivitt faces up to 30 years’ imprisonment; one million dollar fine and 5 years supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carroll L. Andre III is prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.

Updated August 29, 2017