Former bank manager pleads guilty to stealing more than $150,000
ELKHORN—A former bank manager accused of stealing more than $150,000 from a Delavan branch of Guaranty Bank pleaded guilty to stealing the money and 26 felony counts of identity theft for financial gain.
Jessica Pfeifer, 32, Clinton, appeared in court Wednesday afternoon with her attorney Erik Ellingson. While she pleaded guilty to committing the crimes as a Guaranty Bank employee she cried, dabbing her eyes.
The alleged actions occurred between January 2008 and May 2013.
On May 21, 2013, Dwayne Rogers, assistant vice president for corporate investigations for Guaranty Bank, received a copy of a complaint filed by a former customer. It alleged $20,500 was taken from the customer's account, according to the criminal complaint.
While investigating the allegations, Rogers reviewed bank records and footage that showed on December 26, 2012, Pfeifer made two withdrawals from the customer's account—one worth $18,500, the other $2,000. Later records show on February 14, 2013, that a $20,500 cashier's check was deposited into the customer's account, the complaint states.
The investigation revealed Pfeifer repeated the pattern multiple times to six different accounts, according to the complaint.
Pfeifer began working at the bank in 2002. In 2007 she became branch manager.
She was disciplined in 2008, 2010 and 2013 for overdrafting her own account at the bank, the complaint reads.
June 17, 2013, Pfeifer admitted to stealing money from four customer's accounts to buy groceries, pay for her children's school activities, medical bills and other bills. She reportedly told Rogers she took the money by hiding it on her or putting it in FedEx envelopes, the complaint states.
She also told Rogers she spent all the money and didn't know how much except that “it was a lot,” the complaint reads.
Pfeifer made the decision to plead guilty independently, Ellingson said.
“I'm satisfied, most certainly, that she made a free and willing decision,” he said.
Pfeifer will appear in court next at 9:30 a.m. September 23 at the Walworth County Judicial Center.