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Boyceville woman accused of stealing $48,000 from EM bank

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE — A 31-year-old Boyceville woman has been charged with stealing $48,000 from Bremer Bank in Elk Mound.

Amber C. Goodell made an initial appearance in Dunn County Circuit Court November 26.

 According to the complaint, two representatives from Bremer Bank had been conducting an internal investigation when they discovered that $48,000 had been embezzled by an employee at Bremer Bank’s location in Elk Mound.

The two employees who were investigating the theft, Shannon Anderson and Wendy Schreiner, presented evidence to Dunn County investigators showing how Goodell had removed the money from the bank.

They also showed investigators an e-mail Goodell had sent to her supervisor admitting that she had taken the money.

Investigators met with Goodell on October 29, along with her attorney, William Laman.

Laman informed investigators that Goodell wanted to fully cooperate in the investigation and that she wanted to admit her involvement.

When deputies asked Goodell to explain what had happened, Goodell said she had started stealing money from the bank several years ago, perhaps in 2010, and that she had started with smaller amounts and then had progressed to larger amounts until a total of $48,000 had been stolen, according to the complaint.

Goodell told investigators she had removed the money from her cash drawer at the bank and had concealed the missing money by making false transactions with the bank’s vault.

Goodell also told investigators that she “pretty much knew she was caught” about a month earlier when she had created a fake transaction indicating that the missing money had been sold to the Federal Reserve.

According to the complaint, Goodell explained how she had covered up the theft and apologized for doing so. She also provided a letter of apology she had written.

According to a fact sheet provided by Bremer Bank, on August 30, an armored car delivered $25,000 to the Bremer Bank location in Elk Mound.

A scheduled audit of all the teller drawers and the vault, in preparation for converting to a new teller system, revealed that all teller drawers and the bank vault balanced.

The criminal complaint goes on to say that on October 2, one of the tellers at Bremer Bank in Elk Mound received a telephone call from the bank’s accounting department regarding an entry made on August 30 in the amount of $48,000 for a “sell” of cash to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

The Federal Reserve did not have a match for the sale.

The employee who had received the telephone call reviewed the buy and sell logs for August 30 and there was no sale in the amount of $48,000 to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

The employee did, however, discover a ticket for $48,000 in the bank vault’s daily work and that Goodell had prepared the ticket.

The employee sent an e-mail to Goodell and to another bank representative about the telephone call she had received.

Goodell was out sick that day, but the employee received an e-mail from Goodell the following day, October 3, saying that she had taken the $48,000.

Bremer Bank Loss Prevention was notified of the missing money, and Goodell confessed to taking the money.

The charge of theft from a financial institution of more than $10,000 but not more than $100,000 is a Class G felony.

If convicted, Goodell could be fined up to $25,000 and/or could be sentenced up to ten years in prison.