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Former exec at Burling Bank stole $3 million to gamble, feds say

Updated: November 28, 2012 6:08AM

A former executive of Burling Bank in Chicago is accused of stealing more than $3 million from the bank over the past 15 years to feed a gambling habit.

Dora Asmussen held various bank positions, including chief operating officer and executive vice president, putting her in charge of the bank’s daily retail transactions, as well as certain accounting and record-keeping activities. The alleged fraud occurred between approximately 1997 and August 2012, according to prosecutors.

Asmussen, 52, of Gilberts in Kane County, was charged with three counts of bank fraud in an indictment returned Thursday by a federal grand jury.

She will be arraigned at a later date in U.S. District Court. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of $3.07 million.

According to the indictment, Asmussen stole funds by issuing checks drawn on her personal account and cashier’s checks, and also misappropriated customers’ checks. She then used bank funds to cover the payment of those checks, making false entries in internal records to conceal the thefts.

After drawing checks on her personal account, she would stop them from being debited to her account by physically removing the checks when they were delivered to the bank, the indictment alleges. She then made false entries so payments were made from the bank funds instead of her own, according to the indictment.

She also used cashier’s checks payable to herself or her creditors, sometimes forging the signature of a bank employee, the indictment alleges. She would also allegedly steal checks that customers deposited, then manually enter credits to the customers’ accounts and debit the bank’s general ledger, placing the money in her own accounts through ATMs.

She provided false information to the FDIC, state regulators, the board of directors and auditors to cover her tracks, the indictment alleges.

Bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, with restitution mandatory.

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