BANGOR, Maine — A former bank teller who last year admitted moving more than $83,000 in and out of elderly customers’ accounts and her cash drawer was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court to a year and a day in federal prison.
Jodi L. Webber, 37, of Hancock was hired by Camden National Bank in September 2015 as a teller at its Town Hill branch in Bar Harbor, according to court documents. Between November 2015 and February 2016, Webber stole nearly $20,000 in cash from her teller drawer to support her gambling habit.
“I’m sorry for the loss and pain and anxiety I’ve caused,” Webber told the judge.
In addition to prison time, she was sentenced to five years of supervised release and ordered to pay $19,400 in restitution to the bank. Webber already has paid $1,000 toward the total, Public Defender James Nixon told the judge Friday.
U.S. District Judge John Woodcock ordered her to report to prison on March 10.
Webber waived indictment in September 2016, a year after she began working at the bank, and pleaded guilty to theft by a bank employee. By pleading guilty, she admitted to transferring the money in and out of five customers’ accounts and taking the cash.
She targeted the accounts of elderly customers between the ages of 67 and 80, Woodcock said at the sentencing hearing. Webber forged their signatures on withdrawal slips. She typically reversed those withdrawals on the same day that she made them after the bank’s cash audit had been completed.
Her embezzlement scheme was discovered when a customer questioned an unauthorized withdrawal from the customer’s account that had not been reversed, the judge said. That inquiry caused the bank to conduct a comprehensive examination of the defendant’s transactions and to contact law enforcement.
“When the 80-year-old customer complained, the defendant put on her very best poker face and lied to the bank’s security officer,” Woodcock said. “She chose her victim well. The customer even began to doubt himself but he was right.”
Woodcock also said that Webber violated conditions of her bail by going to the Oxford and Foxwoods casinos to gamble but her bail was not revoked.
“It seems clear to me that you have a severe addiction to gambling,” the judge told Webber. “I think you’ve been in a state of self denial for a long, long time.”
Webber remains free on personal recognizance bond with the condition she not gamble online, in a casino or privately. Those conditions, along with her receiving counseling for a gambling addiction are requirements of her supervised release.
Under the federal sentencing guidelines, Webber faced between eight and 14 months in prison. Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Lowell recommended a sentence in the middle of the guideline range. Nixon urged Woodcock to sentence Webber to just six months in prison, which would have allowed her to serve her sentence in Maine, most likely in a county jail.