Former bank teller sentenced to 3 years in prison

A woman who stole from one employer while being investigated for embezzlement from a bank will spend three years in federal prison. Joanne Wierenga, 48, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff in Grand Rapids. Wierenga pleaded guilty in February to a charge of bank fraud. Prosecutors said she stole more than $578,000 from the Grand Rapids-area Huntington Bank branch, where she worked over a period of seven years. Wierenga will also have to pay back $430,000 of the money she stole.
May 10, 2011


A pre-sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors alleged Wierenga took more than $1,600 in store receipts while she was working at Biggby Coffee, a job she took while she was under investigation for the bank theft. Prosecutors said she deposited the money into her personal account, then wrote personal checks into the Biggby account, hoping the money would post by the time the checks cleared. 

Biggby executives became aware of the scheme and fired Wierenga immediately.


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