NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY) – A former Louisiana bank teller was sentenced on Feb. 1 for bank fraud.
Karen Farrell Tigler, 40, of Marrero, was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment followed by two years of supervised release for bank fraud and making and subscribing false tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Louisiana.
Tigler must also pay restitution in the amount of $80,502 to the Internal Revenue Service, and $349,555 to Hancock Whitney Bank, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that from Jan. 1, 2013, to Nov. 14, 2016, Tigler was employed as a banker with Hancock Whitney Bank and worked at the Whitney branch located in New Orleans.
From Feb. 9, 2015, to Oct. 28, 2016, Tigler used her position with the bank to embezzle around $349,556 from ‘client A’s’ account by using 100 counter checks to debit funds from ‘client A’s’ account.
Note: ‘Client A’ was in her mid-80s in 2015 and 2016 and was a banking customer of Whitney.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Tigler used her position to access personal information from other legitimate banking transactions to create the fraudulent counter checks. Tigler also forged the signatures of ‘client A’ and various others.
Tigler cashed 21 counter checks totaling $73,924 that were supposedly for roofing, garden work, light fixtures, renovations and maintenance. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also said that Tigler cashed the other 79 counter checks totaling around $275,632 payable to another individual that was supposedly for “house,” “maintenance” and “happy birthday.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office also said that Tigler failed to report $134,429 on her 2015 tax return and $215,127 on her 2016 return. Tigler reported W-2 income from the bank of $21,290 in 2015 and $19,256 in 2016. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Tigler also failed to report gambling winnings of $32,180 on her 2015 tax return.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, when confronted by a relative of ‘client A,’ Tigler falsely implicated another individual in an effort to conceal her embezzlement of funds from ‘client A’s’ account.
“Karen Tigler used her position at the bank to embezzle from an unsuspecting senior citizen customer,” said James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office. “Tigler’s sentence today sends a message that those who break the public’s trust by engaging in criminal activities will be prosecuted.”
The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Carboni.