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1st National Bank logojustice 4jLittle Rock, Ark. — Three First National Bank of Lawrence County employees have pled guilty to defrauding the bank of nearly $4 million before U.S. District Judge Kristine K. Baker.
The long-time employees admitted in court that they worked together since 2005 to steal $3,953,025 from the bank in Walnut Ridge, Ark. Brenda Montgomery, 57, of Walnut Ridge and Cindy Tate, 57, of Walnut Ridge went before Judge Baker on Tuesday, and Peggy Sutton, 61, of Biggers, Ark., went before Judge Baker Wednesday.
From information obtained, the three employees had switched funds around from other branches and banks to cover a shortfall when audit time came around and moved it back after a successful audit had occurred.
After nine years, in April 2015 bank officials became suspicious of their behavior and ordered a surprise cash count of the vault and discovered a shortfall. After a forensic audit it was discovered that they had taken $3,953,025 from the bank.
The federal judge conditionally accepted their guilty pleas and remanded that each defendant provide $1,317,000 to the bank. The three women are currently free on bond, and their sentences will be ordered at a later date.
Possible sentence for their crime of bank fraud is a sentence of not more that 30 years, a $1 million fine, five years supervised release, and a special $100 assessment.

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