Former Head Bank Teller Accused of Embezzling $56,000 From Central Bank of Oklahoma
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Stillwater woman has been charged with embezzling $56,000 from the Central Bank of Oklahoma at 623 S. Main Street in Stillwater while she was employed as the head bank teller between Jan. 1, 2015, and Nov. 17, 2016.
Michelle Ranee Hawkins, 36, was arrested on March 9 and released the same day on $10,000 bond, court records show. Hawkins was arraigned on the felony charge last week and ordered to return to court with an attorney on April 14.
On Nov. 17, 2016, Stillwater Police Officer Ronal Benningfield met with two of the bank’s employees, who “conducted an audit and discovered $56,000 was missing from the vault and the drawer assigned to the head bank teller Michelle Ranee Hawkins,” an affidavit alleged.
Hawkins, who was the vault teller and teller supervisor, said that she began working at the bank in May of 2014 and started taking “small amounts of cash from her teller drawer or the vault beginning in January of 2015,” Stillwater Police Detective Richard Leport alleged in an affidavit.
“Initially, Michelle Hawkins paid back the cash she took,” she told the Stillwater police detective when he interviewed her on Nov. 21, 2016, the affidavit alleged.
“In 2016, Michelle Hawkins continued to take amounts of cash from her teller drawer or the vault. Michelle Hawkins then started taking larger amounts of cash two or three times a month,” the affidavit alleged.
“Michelle Hawkins took up to $1,000, which she concealed in her pocket,” the affidavit alleged.
On several occasions in 2016, Hawkins “falsified the required monthly vault audit report forms,” by cutting out the signatures of employees and photocopying them onto her falsified vault audit form, the affidavit alleged.
If convicted of embezzlement, Hawkins could be given as much as a 10-year prison term and a $10,000 fine, court records show.