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Bank VP Embezzled $3.7M

(CN) - A former vice president of a Montana bank pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $3.67 million over a decade, federal prosecutors said.

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Rhonda Lee Devries, 50, of Malta, Mont., pleaded guilty this week to bank fraud/embezzlement by a bank officer, credit card fraud and money laundering, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

She faces up to 30 years in federal prison and $1 million in fines. She will be sentenced on Nov. 26 by U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon.

As vice president of operations for the First Security Bank in Malta, Devries opened five credit card accounts, several with "high limits," after January 2001, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Montana said in the statement. She used phony names to open the accounts, such as RI Inc., ABC123 and ADRD, and racked up balances of more $3.67 million before she was caught in April by the bank's credit card servicing company.

Devries told bank officers and federal investigators that she "had trouble recalling" how she spent the money, and that she kept the scheme hidden by taking "meticulous steps in the monitoring and handling of the accounts."

"Devries created fictitious names for the fraudulent credit card accounts that unrelated to her or any bank customer," prosecutors said. "Each account name included a long series of the letter 'Z,' which would make it less likely that another FSB employee would happen upon the account when conducting routine business."

Devries is free on conditions.

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