Taken from dormant accounts

Bank teller arrested for stealing nearly $40,000

by JOHN A. WINTERS

A bank teller was arrested for stealing nearly $40,000 from dormant customer accounts at a Coweta area bank.

Kathy Graham, 56, of Senoia, turned herself in at the Coweta County Jail in Newnan on Tuesday and was charged with four counts of forgery in the first degree and one felony count of theft by taking, according to Lieutenant Jason Ercole with the Senoia Police Department.

On April 17, officials with the Bank of the Ozarks branch in Senoia informed law enforcement of an internal investigation that showed Graham had committed several acts of fraud, Ercole said. 

"The officials provided detailed records and video surveillance footage from the bank to the police department outlining how the fraud was committed," according to the lieutenant. 

An investigation showed that starting back in September 2012, Graham identified dormant customer accounts using the bank's computer system. Dormant accounts are those where there was no activity within the last six months.

"When she identified such an account, she contacted the operations division of the bank either by email or phone and had the accounts reactivated," Ercole said. Once the accounts were reactivated, she forged withdrawal slips with the customers' information and withdrew money from their accounts. She would then keep the funds for her own personal use."

Four bank customers were affected and the total amount was $39,507.32, he said. Graham was relieved of her duties once the fraud was detected and terminated once it was confirmed. 

"I want to commend Bank of the Ozarks officials and investigators for their detailed investigation and their quick action in the matter," Ercole said. "Bank of the Ozarks reimbursed all customers for any losses suffered."

On Tuesday, Coweta County Senior Magistrate Judge J. Stripling signed five warrants against Graham. She surrendered to the jail about 2 p.m. Tuesday.


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