FORT WORTH (CN) - Federal prosecutors say a former Bank of America branch manager stole more than $2 million from customer accounts, just under $10,000 at a time.
The criminal information charges Pamela Kay Cobb aka Pamela Crabb aka Pamela Engles with one count of bank fraud. She allegedly swiped the money for 9 years, taking just under $10,000 each time, to avoid federal reporting requirements.
Cobb, branch manager of the bank's River Oaks location, "fraudulently used customer names and bank account numbers to fill out withdrawal slips" and "sometimes forged customers' signatures," according to the information.
"Cobb victimized customers with whom she had a long-standing relationship," the information states. Cobb knew that her customers would not suspect her of wrongdoing. If customers noticed an improper transaction, they would likely report it directly to Cobb. When customers complained of improper transactions, Cobb immediately refunded their accounts with money stolen from other customers' accounts. This response served to confirm victims' trust in Cobb."
Cobb took the money right in front of her employee-tellers, according to the information. "Cobb informed the tellers that she was withdrawing cash for the customer and, occasionally, that the customer was waiting in Cobb's office. Sometimes, however, the customer was not present. The tellers did not question the legitimacy of the transaction or request identification because they trusted Cobb and believed that the customer was in Cobb's office.
"Cobb withdrew no more than $10,000 per transaction to avoid mandatory currency transaction reports."
According to the 6-page information, Cobb tried to cover her tracks by blocking bank statements from being sent to victims, and entering codes into the bank's data system that classified their addresses as unknown. She is accused of stealing more than $2 million, with the River Oaks branch's losses exceeding $1 million.
"Cobb used the stolen money for personal expenses including, but not limited to, vacations, clothing, jewelry and land purchases," the information states.