February 21, 2019

Former Athol Savings Bank employee pleads guilty to $108K embezzlement

Photo | Google
Athol Savings Bank's location on Main Street.

A former Athol Savings Bank employee pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling $108,000 from customer accounts.

Jessica Vargas, 35, of Athol, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and two counts of bank embezzlement, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Massachusetts said. She's scheduled to be sentenced May 15.

Vargas was arrested in March 2018 and indicted last July. She was found to have made unauthorized cash withdrawals from customer accounts, including $53,000 from the account of an 84-year-old customer and nearly $13,000 from an 88-year-old.

Using video footage compared with timing of withdrawals, the bank was able to determine that Vargas processed $108,171 in unauthorized withdrawals between August 2016 and December 2017.

For each count, Vargas faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million.


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