by Max Brantley
Tate had advance notice of internal audits and would arrange with Montgomery or Sutton to have cash transferred temporarily to the main vault from other branches of the bank, or from other corresponding banks, so that it would appear to the auditors that the count of cash on hand in the main vault was correct. Once the auditors had completed the count, Tate, Sutton, or Montgomery saw to it that cash which had been temporarily moved to the vault was then returned to the other branches or to the corresponding bank.
In April 2015, officials in management at First National became suspicious of the defendants’ conduct and arranged for a surprise cash count of the vault contents, at which time a shortage became apparent. A forensic audit confirmed that the three defendants had stolen bank funds by materially over representing the amount of cash on hand in the bank by $3,953,025.