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Bank manager stole more than $1M

By Claes Bell · 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
Anissa
September 23, 2013 at 10:49 am

But no ones wants to hire a convicted felony who comes with a full background check....

Don
September 19, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Been in banking nearly 40 years and have seen bad employees come and go. No different than any other business, it happens. Banks are liable if employees steal from customers and customers are also responsible to report discrepancies to the banks. Remember, this happens in more than just the banks. I'm certain you all remember Bernie Madoff!!! Talk about a thief?

aabmh
September 19, 2013 at 8:54 pm

I believe this story completely. A few years ago I went to the bank to cash a check. I had been a customer of this bank for over 30 years. The girl shorted me 100.00. When I brought it to her attention she swore she had given me the correct amount and the bank refused to do anything about it. I lost my 100.00 but they lost me as a customer. I had multiple accounts with the bank and I closed everyone of them out and went to another bank. It has taken me a while to get used to the new bank but I feel if a bank has employees that are not trustworthy I don't want to deal with that bank. It was a small price to pay for the feeling of security. If she did that to me how many other people has she done it to. I always count my money before leaving the bank, some people don't.

Claes Bell
September 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Hey Hardy, I'd check with the California unclaimed property authorities. They may have taken over the accounts, in which case they'll have to return the money to you. If they don't have it, I'd suggest contacting the California attorney general.

MR.SHINE
September 19, 2013 at 5:26 pm

That is outright betrayal of the trust that I, as a customer, has placed on the bank and its employees for doing business with them----but a periodic check at my account and balancing my deposits and expenditures is my responsibility---when there is a discrepancy----I would contact the fraud department to look into it!!!

Hardy R Acuna
September 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I have invested several IRA's accounts in one particular Bank at
Pasadena, California. About 2 years ago I have my retirement from
work. One day I did open my metal drawer and found original IRA
Account Statements dated 01/07/86 (06263-86278), 04/15/87 (06264-86428), 04/19/90 (06267-86729). I went to Bank and asked questions to where these accounts are. There's no satisfactory anwers because they said that these accounts are old and have no
records to trace back. I just wanted to find out if the Bank transfered to another Institution but if this is the case, their
customer must be informed. I have no knowlege at all.
Please help me what to do and where to go to investigate the Bank. Thank you !!!

Mike
September 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm

with online banking available for most bank accounts, it is a simple matter to check your balances. it should be done daily........same with charge card accounts.....

sharon
September 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I think with in ourselves that we try be reminded of keeping a eye on our accounts. This is so unheard of most ederly people trust the bank too keep their eye's on there funds that's what they get paid to do. It is a shame before God and man for anyone to take from a adultly, or a child. a theif know no boundries. Really" Yelling))))) is it worth a dollar to go to hell. Where your heart is at is where your God morals,dignity, and principles are at. In the book of life it say's if you lie you will steal God said I hate a lier and he also states he turn his face away from them. God have mercy on her soul as this is the very thing that will turn her heart towards the elderly and give back what she has taken. Another thing I would like to implenment is that it do not look good for her but where the devil tried to make her lose it all)))))God will work it for her good.. For the first time in her life she will come to no what living and mercy means.

Corinne
September 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Honestly, bank employees should not be stealing from customers. It does not matter whether or not customers keep track of their accounts. Bank employees should be honest and trustworthy not thieves. The banks have a responsibility to protect and service their customers professionally and conduct themselves appropriately. Does not take a rocket scientist to understand right and wrong.

cc

becky
September 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm

what happended to the customers responsibility of balancing and checking there statements themselves? if u keep an eye on your own accounts things should not get that far.