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Press Release

Former InSouth Bank Employee Sentenced for Embezzling Almost $900,000

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN – A former InSouth bank employee was sentenced by United States District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman to serve 33 months in federal prison in connection with her embezzlement of $890,000.  D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentence today.


Lauren Melissa McDivitt, 41, of Covington, Tennessee pled guilty in August to charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office that she embezzled $888,470 between 2006 and 2016, while employed as Branch Administrator at InSouth’s 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 email, 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 on various customers to cover amounts she had taken from other customers.


U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: “The long term financial fraud and embezzlement committed by the defendant is disturbing and far-reaching.  The abuse of her position of trust and authority as a small town bank manager for her own personal gain had a significant negative impact on the employees and customers of InSouth Bank, as well as the whole Atoka and Tipton County community.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office places a high priority on protecting the security, deposits and assets of financial institutions, and this sentence demonstrates that commitment.”


As part of her sentence, McDivitt was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $947,951.30 to InSouth Bank and to serve a period of 3 years of supervised release to begin after her incarceration.


This case was investigated by the Atoka, Tennessee Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 


Assistant U.S. Attorney Carroll L. Andre’ III prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.

Updated December 12, 2017