On April 30, Crystal C. Thomas, 29, a former Regions Bank employee at the bank’s customer service center in Birmingham, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. According to Chief U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn, Thomas will be sentenced in about 15 weeks.
“She has accepted responsibility for her actions and we’re hoping the judge will be lenient when it comes to the sentencing phase,” Christopher Burrell, Thomas’s attorney, stated after the hearing.
In May 2011, Regions Bank investigators contacted the U.S. Secret Service about employees fraudulently filing and approving financial claims for bank customers. The bank investigators had detected the approvals by Thomas and another bank employee on a number of financial claims on the accounts of five bank customers. These claims had been previously denied by other bank employees.
In the plea agreement, Thomas and the other bank employee admitted they were involved in the scheme and had worked with bank account holders who they knew and who knowingly participated in the scheme. The money was split between the different parties.
According to court records, the other bank employee, Omeshia Pettaway, is to have a change of plea hearing on Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Inge Johnson.
When accused of a white collar crime such as bank fraud, it is wise to seek legal counsel from an experienced white collar crime lawyer, one with the background and expertise needed to successfully defend your rights.
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