WHITNEY (February 19, 2013)-A former employee of the Whitney 1st National Bank has been summoned to federal court next week to answer a charge of embezzlement of more than $6 million from the bank.
She has not yet been arrested, but Mary Helen (Murty) Lane is charged with embezzlement from a federally insured financial institution of more than $1,000.
Lane is charged on a federal information, meaning she has not been indicted, and has agreed to appear before U.S. Magistrate Jeffrey C. Manske on a summons, a court docket says.
The federal court charging document obtained Tuesday by News 10 says Lane, over a period of 10 years, stole large amounts of cash from the bank's safe and originated false bank documents to cover the thefts.
Lane was employed by the bank for 27 years and she resigned her position as vice president in January 2012.
The charging documents says Lane used most of the cash to finance gambling trips to Las Vegas, Nevada and Shreveport, Louisiana.
The FBI also said that when Lane would return from gambling trips she would give her fellow employees $100 bills which she claimed to be part of her gambling winnings.
Retired FBI Special Agent John Truehitt, who now is the police chief at Lacy Lakeview, said in his report that on at least one occasion the bank in Whitney ran out of $100 bills, and Lane went to her home to get some and bring them back to the bank in exchange for $20 bills from the bank's cash drawers.
During an investigation bank employees told FBI agents Lane made so many trips to gambling venues that she was rewarded with complimentary trips, hotel rooms and food.
FBI investigators also learned Lane purchased several expensive sports cars with funds she took from the bank.
"This old news to us, and was taken care of by our holding company and insurance proceeds a long time ago,” said bank president Mike Farquhar in a statement Tuesday.
“No customer accounts have been affected and this situation did not affect operations of the bank."