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For all the masterminds out there hoping to rob a bank or casino with an Ocean’s 11 like plan, there’s a more simple way of doing so. However, we won’t guarantee you will get off scotch free.
A woman from Muskegon, Michigan may be sentenced to 7.5 years of prison after stealing $1.9 million from a Federal Credit Union by stuffing wads of cash in her purse over the span of 15 years.
Kathryn Sue Simmerman, 55, was an employee at Shoreline Federal Credit Union and was promoted to manager in 2006, according to USA Today. For 15 years, Simmerman showed up to her workplace before her co-workers, enter the vault and stole wads of cash by stuffing them into her purse. The incident occurred 433 times while she was employed at the Credit Union totalling her stolen pot to $1.9 million.
That amount represents 86% of the earnings of the small credit union, which serves about 4,000 employees and retirees from 18 Muskegon County companies. The Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay Stiffler wrote in a memorandum filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan:
“ [Simmerman] callously and without compunction stole from her employer by removing cash from the vault 433 separate times.”
Assistant U.S. attorney, Stiffler, is pushing for a more severe sentence claiming her actions “substantially jeopardized the safety and soundness” of the credit union. He accused the credit union’s net worth ratio drop to under 2% as a consequence of her wrongdoing.
Federal prosecutors are adamant about having Simmerman serve a minimum seven and a half years in prison for her embezzlement despite having no other past criminal record. Simmerman joined the credit union, established in 1953 in the Muskegon suburb on the shores of Lake Michigan, back in 1986.
Her lawyer explained that the theft started after her husband, an hourly factory worker, was laid off from his job. Defense attorney Gary Springstead is pleading for leniency for his client saying that she “intended to put the money back.” He wrote:
“She feels shame. She feels guilt. She knows she betrayed her friends/co-workers at the credit union, her husband and family and her friends with deceit.”
Simmerman and her husband each earned a salary of about $40,000 a year while her two grown sons worked hourly jobs. Suspicion arose as to how over $875,000 in cash deposits were made under the accounts for her and her family over the course of 15 years.
When law enforcement discovered three cash straps holding several thousand dollars in her home, Simmerman claimed it belonged to her daughter-in-law’s horse business or her son’s drug dealing. Federal prosecutors struck a deal to not file charges against her husband or sons. As a result, she pleaded guilty in August to embezzling the money, a crime punishable by 30 years in prison.