Former Tennessee bank vice president admits stealing $600K from employer

Former Tennessee bank vice president admits stealing more than $600K from employer

A former Tennessee bank vice president admitted she stole more than $600,000 from her employer because she believed her skills were unappreciated and she deserved better pay, according to federal court records.

Connie Sue Clabo agreed to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Knoxville to counts of embezzlement and filing false tax records, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

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Clabo, who worked for a SmartBank office in Pigeon Forge, admitted in the plea agreement she used her position as vice president of loan operations with the bank to cover 60 cashier's checks totaling $357,187  from 2013 through February 2018, the newspaper reported. According to court records,

Clabo also admitted to manipulating bank records to cut her parents' home mortgage by $46,000, leaving them only $398 to pay SmartBank, and erased her own mortgage balance of $200,693, WBIR reported. According to the plea deal,

Clabo also lied to her accountant to hide the theft from the IRS, the television station reported.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Hamilton wrote in the plea agreement that Clabo justified her embezzlement when confronted by law enforcement in April, the News Sentinel reported.

“Indeed, when interviewed by law enforcement on April 24, 2019, (Clabo) admitted that she believed that SmartBank was insufficiently compensating for all of her hard work for the bank and that she deserved more compensation from SmartBank,” Hamilton wrote. “According to (Clabo) herself, she decided to solve her dissatisfaction with her compensation from her employer by stealing and misapplying SmartBank’s funds, moneys and credits.”

Clabo faces a maximum term of 30 years in prison on the theft count and up to three years on the false income tax return count, WBIR reported.

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