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Delhi woman admits to bank embezzlement

POSTED March 15, 2011 8:26 p.m.

A Delhi woman who worked as an assistant bank branch manager has pled guilty to stealing funds from her former employer.

Norma Pena, 37, pleaded guilty on Friday in federal court to 14 counts of embezzlement by a bank employee and criminal forfeiture, according to the Department of Justice.

The federal grand jury indictment lodged against Pena claimed that between March 2009 to February 2010, Pena used her position at the Citibank branch in Ceres to embezzle funds from the bank.

In entering her guilty plea, Pena admitted that as part of her scheme, she created her own teller cash drawer over which she had control. Pena would receive cash and instead of placing it all of it in her cash drawer, she would keep some of it for herself. The branch accounting system would nevertheless electronically show that the cash had been placed in her cash drawer. As a result, her cash drawer contained less cash than the amount shown electronically.

To hide this discrepancy, the indictment alleges Pena would make electronic transfers in the branch accounting system, purportedly from her cash drawer to the branch automatic-teller machine vault systems, without actually transferring any cash from her cash drawer to the ATM vaults. Pena would then oversee the cash counts of the ATM vaults and other cash counts at the branch, in which she would cover up the amount of cash missing, according to the prosecution.

Pena is scheduled to be sentenced June 10.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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