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Press Release

Former Local Bank Manager Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

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

Memphis, TN – A local man pleaded guilty to conspiracy and embezzlement, while being employed as a branch manager at Tri-State Bank ("Tri-State") in Memphis. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee announced the guilty plea today.

According to the charging instrument, from calendar years 2015 to 2016, Michael B. Gaines, branch manager of Tri-State, developed a scheme to activate many dormant accounts and withdraw funds from said accounts with the help of another employee. Gaines and the employee used their Tri-State computer and user I.D. to activate and enter the accounts to fraudulently withdraw funds. He gave some of the proceeds to another employee and deposited cash into his personal bank account. During the time of the conspiracy and embezzlement, Tri-State suffered a loss of over $214,000.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "The financial fraud and embezzlement committed by the defendant in this case is disturbing and far-reaching. The abuse of his position of trust and authority as a bank manager for his own personal gain had a significant negative impact on the employees and customers of Tri-State Bank. The U.S. Attorney’s Office places a high priority on protecting the security, deposits and assets of financial institutions, and this conviction demonstrates that commitment."

Sentencing is set for December 6, 2018, before U.S. District Court Judge John T. Fowlkes. Gaines pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and another count of embezzlement. The maximum penalty for conspiracy is 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine and for embezzlement, 30 years imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Damon Keith Griffin is prosecuting the case on the government’s behalf.

Updated August 31, 2018