May 29, 2024

Former Bank Teller Sentenced for Federal Fraud Charges

Former Bank Teller Sentenced for Federal Fraud Charges

NEW ORLEANS, LA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that on February 1, 2023 United States District Judge Sarah S. Vance sentenced KAREN FARRELL TIGLER, age 40, of Marrero, Louisiana, to twenty-seven (27) months imprisonment followed by two (2) years of supervised release for violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344 (Bank Fraud), and Making and Subscribing False Tax Returns in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1).

According to documents filed in federal court, from January 1, 2013, to November 14, 2016, TIGLER was employed as a multi-service banker with the Hancock Whitney Bank.  TIGLER worked at the Whitney branch, also known as the “Morgan State Branch,” located in New Orleans, LA.  Client A was in her mid-80s in 2015 and 2016 and was a banking customer of Whitney.

From February 9, 2015, to October 28, 2016, TIGLER used her position with the bank to embezzle approximately $349,556 from Client A’s account by using 100 counter checks to debit funds from Client A’s account.  TIGLER used her position with the bank to access personal information from other legitimate banking transactions to create the fraudulent counter checks.  TIGLER forged the signatures of Client A and various others on the counter checks in an effort to conceal her embezzlement scheme.  TIGLER accessed or utilized legitimate checks drawn on Client A’s account in order to prepare fraudulent counter checks.  TIGLER cashed 21 counter checks totaling $73,924 that were supposedly for “roofing,” “market/garden work,” “light fixtures/cleaning,” “extras plumbing,” “misc. work,” “renovations,” and “maintenance.”  TIGLER cashed the other 79 counter checks totaling approximately $275,632 payable to another individual that were supposedly for “house,” “maintenance,” and for “happy birthday.” 

In addition, TIGLER failed to report $134,429 on her 2015 tax return and $215,127 on her 2016 return.  TIGLER reported W-2 income from the bank of $21,290 for the tax year 2015 and $19,256 for 2016. TIGLER spread the deposits of cash of embezzled funds into her various accounts.  TIGLER also failed to report gambling winnings of $32,180 on her 2015 tax return.  When confronted by a relative of Client A, TIGLER falsely implicated another individual in an effort to conceal her embezzlement of funds from Client A’s account. 

United States District Judge Sarah S. Vance sentenced TIGLER to twenty-seven (27) months imprisonment, followed by two (2) years supervised release. TIGLER must also pay a $200.00 mandatory special assessment fee, restitution in the amount of $80,502.00 to the Internal Revenue Service, and $349,555.72 to Hancock Whitney Bank.

“Karen Tigler used her position at the bank to embezzle from an unsuspecting senior citizen customer,” said James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office. “Tigler’s sentence today sends a message that those who break the public’s trust by engaging in criminal activities will be prosecuted.”

“Karen Tigler’s duplicitous actions constitute Elder Fraud.  Her fraudulent schemes unfairly targeted an elderly consumer, causing far reaching consequences and excessive losses.  With the continued cooperation of our law enforcement partners, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, EDLA will hold the perpetrators of elder fraud schemes accountable for their crimes. Our office cautions seniors and their caregivers to be vigilant for potential fraud and, if victimized, to contact law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office would also like to acknowledge the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, and the Hancock Whitney Bank with this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Carboni.

If you need assistance or to report elder abuse, please contact your local adult protective services agency through the Eldercare Locator or by call the helpline at 1-800-677-1116 Monday – Friday 9am – 8pm EST. To report elder fraud, please visit the FBI’s IC3 Elder Fraud Complaint Center or contact the dedicated National Elder Fraud Hotline at 833–FRAUD–11 or 833–372–8311 Monday – Friday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm EST.

 

 

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Originally published at https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/neworleans/news/former-bank-teller-sentenced-for-federal-fraud-charges