Bank theft details surface in Steamboat

Aspen Times Staff ReportAspen, CO Colorado

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. Two women charged with stealing $1.2 million from accounts at the Steamboat Springs branch of Alpine Bank apparently accomplished the thefts through forged bank forms, the Steamboat Pilot & Today reported Monday.Pamela Jean Williams and Terri Dawn Moody Fatka, former tellers at the bank, were arrested Feb. 21, and have been charged with felony theft and forgery.An investigation into the scheme is ongoing; five account holders have been identified as victims, the Steamboat newspaper reported.Police believe the thefts took place between April 2005 and Jan. 3, 2008, according to arrest warrants filed in the case. The warrants, notes the Pilot & Today, provide insight into how police think the money was stolen through the use of advice of charge forms.Say if somebody came into the bank and didnt have a check and didnt want to use a counter check and wanted to withdraw the money from their account, they would fill out that form to get the money, Steamboat police Detective Jerry Stabile told the Pilot & Today. After those funds are drawn, that advice of charge is used to balance that particular drawer.At least 95 of those forms were used to draw more than $828,000 from a single Alpine Bank account, according to police, the newspaper said.According to the arrest warrants, all advice of charge forms identified in the investigation were marked with teller identification numbers issued to Williams and Fatka, the newspaper reported. Teller identification numbers are password-protected and non-transferable.Fatka and Williams were released Feb. 21 from Routt County jail on $20,000 bonds. They are due to appear in Routt County Court at 8:30 a.m. on April 1, according to the Pilot & Today.


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