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Former Geneva bank teller charged with fraud

Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

GENEVA – A former teller at the Fifth Third Bank branch in Geneva has been indicted, accused of using stolen customer profile information as part of a scheme to take at least $245,000 from the victims’ accounts.

Federal charges were filed Thursday against Clarice Watkins, 25, of Burnham. Her arraignment is set June 4 in front of U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman. Watkins is being charged with four counts of bank fraud, two counts of fraud with identification documents and another count of fraud.

According to court documents, Watkins was a teller at the Fifth Third Bank in Geneva, and had access to information regarding customers accounts, including the balances held by Fifth Third Bank’s customers and personal identifying information that could be used to access those accounts.

Watkins couldn’t be reached for comment.

The indictment alleged that Watkins and another person identified only as “Individual A” schemed together to defraud the bank and its customers.

According to the indictment, Watkins agreed to access the customer profile information of Fifth Third Bank’s account holders and provide it to Individual A.

Watkins allegedly would steal the customer profile information of those who came to her teller window and whose accounts carried large balances, according to the indictment.

Individual A agreed to split with Watkins the money that Individual A took from the accounts, the indictment alleged.

Between April 2008 and April 2010, Individual A and others obtained at least $245,000 from the victims’ accounts, according to the indictment.

Yasmin Best, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, said she couldn’t comment on whether more people will be charged.

“I can’t comment on an ongoing grand jury investigation,” Best said.

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