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How to Steal $620,000

CINCINNATI (CN) - A teller stole $620,000 by swapping out "bricks" of $100 bills with singles, after finding out that auditors didn't bother to look inside the bricks, a credit union claims in court.

CINCO Family Financial Center Credit Union and Cumis Insurance Society sued the teller, Linda Fite, and its auditors, Gary Condit, Condit and Associates LLC and GBQ Partners LLC, in Hamilton County Court.

Condit, a CPA, is not the former Congressman Gary Condit.

The credit union claims: "From about 2008 to January 2012, defendant Fite stole cash from the credit union vault and cash dispensers at the credit union's Clifton branch office in an amount totaling at least $620,245.11. Defendant Fite repeatedly stole $50 and $100 bills from the inside of $50 and $100 bundled bills or 'bricks.' Fite attempted to conceal her theft by placing $1 bills within the bricks of $50s and $100s to replace the $50 and $100 bills that she stole. She was able to do this because she observed that defendants Condit, Condit and Associates and GBQ did not inspect or count the contents of the individual 'bricks' of cash in the vault or teller drawers."

Condit shares the blame, for failing to detect Fite's "crude embezzlement scheme," the credit union says: "Defendant Condit and/or Condit and Associates was required, inter alia, to audit 'Change Fund Controls,' which included the performance of surprise cash counts of the vault, teller drawers and cash dispensers at CINCO's Clifton branch office."

GBQ Partners bought Condit & Associates on July 1, 2011, retaining Condit as an employee and member, according to the complaint.

The credit union and insurer add: "In performing their audits, defendants Condit, Condit and Associates and GBQ were grossly negligent in failing to discover Fite's crude embezzlement scheme through the proper performance of their established audit procedures. Had defendants even once, over the course of their engagement, fanned the bundled bricks while performing their cash counts or had they once performed an actual cash count of the cash actually on hand, they would have immediately discovered this fraudulent activity."

The credit union claims it "confronted" Fite in January 2012 "with a discrepancy regarding the cash on hand," and she "acknowledged and admitted to stealing money from plaintiff Cinco over a period of years."

The complaint does not mention any criminal proceedings. Nor did an Internet search this morning turn up any evidence of one. But the credit union claims Fite has not repaid the money.

The plaintiffs want the money back, and punitive damages for negligence, breach of contract, conversion and unjust enrichment.

The plaintiffs are represented by Joseph Dilts, with Kohnen and Patton in Cincinnati.

Clifton is between Columbus and Cincinnati.

The complaint does not explain why Fite allegedly bothered to steal the extra 11 cents.

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