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Bank manager stole more than $1M

By Claes Bell ·
Monday, June 3, 2013
Posted: 10 am ET

There's no doubt that bank employees are in a position of trust. Customers walk in every day and hand them money, confident it will be in their bank account when they need it. To do their jobs, high-level bank employees have access to lots of sensitive consumer information and even cash, so when an employee turns to crime, things can go downhill fast.

That's exactly what's alleged to have happened at not one, but two banks in Oakland, Calif., where a former banker is accused of having stolen more than $1 million from customers at US Bank and First Republic Bank, according to reports by The Oakland Tribune and KTVU.

Linda Foss, who worked at US Bank from 1983 to 2012, most recently as a branch manager, is accused of siphoning off money directly from one customer's certificate of deposit, or CD, account, reducing the balance from $972,000 to $353,000. Another former client said Foss had forged her signature on checks worth more than $40,000.

Foss was later terminated by US Bank, but quickly got another job at First Republic Bank. From there, Foss allegedly tried to cover her tracks by stealing from other customers to replace the stolen funds, including $164,000 from first one, then another elderly client at First Republic.

Eventually, authorities caught up to Foss, who will face trial on money laundering, theft from an elder adult and grand theft charges.

Beyond the consequences for Foss's clients and her community, the incident does raise some serious questions for bank customers in general. Foss was terminated by US Bank in March of this year, according to the report. Did they know or suspect something was wrong, and if so, how was she hired to be a branch manager at another bank? And how was a bank employee allowed to siphon more than $600,000 from an account without attracting immediate scrutiny?

It seems inevitable that unscrupulous bank employees will find ways to bilk customers, but banks owe it to customers to do their utmost to keep a close eye on account-holder funds and prevent crime wherever they can, and to make customers whole when they fail.

What do you think? Do you ever worry about fraud at your bank?

Follow me on Twitter: @ClaesBell.

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July 07, 2013 at 8:12 am

@Rich Brunnelle---You're a moron man.
and you look like a cross between Stallin and Pedo.,

Bob D’Angelo
July 02, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Why is the bank not responsible for the mis-deeds of their employee?

June 17, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Yes, I do ask those questions. I worked at a bank in the 70's. One branch manager stole over $100,000 (700-1M today)and the bank didn't want to press charges because it would be in the "newspapers". The bonding company wouldn't payoff unless they did, so they pressed charges for $10,000 only. I no longer believe the "official" reports of the damages done because I know first hand how they can be manipulated.

June 13, 2013 at 10:19 am

Yes, I ask the question all the time. She was very generous to her son who is SFPD and I'm not sure why that has not been public. I could list some of the materials that she purchased but that hasn't restored the 600k that she stole from my in laws

Rich Brunelle
June 06, 2013 at 9:30 am

Interesting story, but really does not raise too much concern. Does not matter directly from our accounts or by bank charges, Banks been ripping us off for years.

Don't forget the fall of the housing market was a rip off by the banks. Just remember, you have to trust them . . . they're bankers!

Anon E Moose
June 04, 2013 at 1:28 pm

This is California.

$2 million gets you an OK house and maybe a decent 2nd hand, mid-sized car that gets good gas mileage.

Forget about that riding horse and stable or some other high-life status symbols.

Anon E Moose
June 04, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Well this is California after all, $2 million will probably get you an OK house and maybe a good 2nd hand mid-sized, gas-economical car.

June 03, 2013 at 10:26 pm

What did Foss do with all that money in so short a time? There should be a money trail.

June 03, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Where is the money that she stole? Are both banks certain that they have located all money that was stolen?

June 03, 2013 at 11:25 am

Does anyone ask the question, what did she do with close to $2 million dollars?