Local Woman Sentenced In $6 Million In Bank Embezzlement Scheme

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email

WACO (May 1, 2013)--Mary Helen (Murty) Lane, 57, the former vice president of the Whitney 1st National Bank, was sentenced to prison Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Waco in a case stemming from the theft of more than $6 million from the bank.

U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr., sentenced Lane to seven years in federal prison, followed by five years on supervised release, and ordered her to pay $6,090,784.31 in restitution and a $100 special assessment to the court.

Lane pleaded guilty March 7 to embezzling more than $6 million from Whitney 1st National Bank over a period of years.

Lane was charged in a federal information that alleged that over a period of 10 years she 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 say Lane used most of the cash to finance gambling trips to Las Vegas, Nevada and Shreveport, La.

The FBI also said that when Lane returned from gambling trips she gave her fellow employees $100 bills which she claimed came from her winnings.

Retired FBI Special Agent John Truehitt, who now is the police chief in 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, got some more and brought them back to the bank in exchange for $20 bills from the 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 issued in March.

"No customer accounts have been affected and this situation did not affect operations of the bank,” he said.

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