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Bank manager stole more than $1M

By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com
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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52 Comments
Jim
September 19, 2013 at 1:40 am

There are crooked people in all walks of life; including politics. Pay attention to what is going on around you because things are not always as they seem. Do the right thing personally. set a good example for family, friends, and co-workers. Keep clean hands. Blow the horn carefully. forgive but don't automatically trust. This grouping of responses is of value. Consider what all of these people have written.

Don
September 18, 2013 at 11:27 pm

This has even happened in small community banks! Crooks from managers on down . But when the CEO's of these corporate wall street banks steal legally with outlandish salaries, the only difference is one's legal and one's not ? Both outrageous theft ?

Paul
September 02, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I know this guy who was paying his mortgage by making direct deposits into an account at this US /First Republic Bank at Montclair Village. Now the lender is claiming that the lender never received about $33,000 of the mortgage payments, even though the guy kept the deposit slips. The lender is threatening to foreclose. Rumor has it that this Foss character has only plead guilty to embezzling $2 million from this bank (not $600,000) but the real amount missing is closer to $4 million and will never be paid back.

noseitall
August 31, 2013 at 2:32 am

So, will these losses be covered by the FDIC since the money was held in a certificate of deposit? Would be nice to know.

Marsha
August 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm

It appears that anyone can get away with stealing. A former Pastor at a church I once attended was proven guilty of misappropriation of $350,000. He has not served one day in jail nor has to pay it back.

Let some one take a few bucks and in the slammer they go. Moral to the story is take a lot and you will not be punished.

stan klecha
August 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Years ago as a Prudential Mgmt..we required credit checks on all
new employees and references from their prior jobs ..and we still had trouble with employees stealing cash ..Greed has
no bundries ..

Kathy O’Brien
August 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Decades ago a bank employee on Staten Island had a grand time take very small amounts of money from thousands of accounts. It all added up to a large sum, but he figured that very few people would notice the small discrepancies. He was right; it took quite a while but in the end he was convicted. A sharper thief would have focused on taking a very large sum in one haul and retired to a county without an extradiction treaty with the U.S. BUT would have to be enough to live out the rest of one's life... Greed....

Mark klayman
August 27, 2013 at 4:40 am

Now is the time to put strict guidelines in place on a Federal level of Registration. This is what has happened to all of us that originate Mortgag loans, Banks get automatically covered under the NMLS&R, but not the employees. Giving them free rein to steal over and over before they get caught, if ever.

The tracking will go far to weed out the thieves.

CATHY CUNNINGHAM
July 31, 2013 at 11:42 am

AS AN EMPLOYER, WE HAVE HAD EMPLOYEE AFTER EMPLOYEE STEAL CASH AND/OR NOT REPORT SALES ACTIVITY. THE POLICE DO NOTHING, AND IN THIS WORLD OF "PRIVACY" AND FEAR OF LAWSUIT, YOU CANNOT TELL AN INQUIRING POTENTIALLY NEW EMPLOYER OF THAT PERSON, ANYTHING ABOUT WHY THAT PERSON IS NO LONGER EMPLOYED BY YOU. SO NO CONSEQUENCES FOR THE THIEVES...OVER AND OVER!

BANKer
July 30, 2013 at 10:35 pm

UPPER MANAGEMENT ARE HAVE SUCH CLEAN HANDS AT THE BANKS. HSPC BANK CAUGHT MONEY LAUDERING NOT ONE PERSON WHEN TO PRISON. ICELAND PUT THERE TOP BANK OFFICIALS IN SOLOTARY CONFINDMENT. WHO WHEN TO JAIL OVER 2008 CRASH?? THE BANKS RUN THIS COUNTRY SAD WE NEED TO WAKE UP AND HAVE A FRENCH REVOLUTION. THEY NEVER PLAY BY THERE RULES ITS NOT FOR THEM JUST US. SOMEDAY WE WILL RISE AND TAKE OUT THE GREEDY FOOLS. HUNT THEM DOWN.