Former Beeville bank executive pleads guilty to embezzlement
by Bee-Picayune staff
Aug 27, 2008 | 1108 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A former Beeville bank officer has pleaded guilty to on charges of embezzling nearly $300,000 over a five-year period, a federal prosecutor announced Wednesday.

Lesle Woodside Dial, 46, of Sinton, also pleaded guilty to a felony charge of money laundering, according to documents filed in federal court.

The federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Dial on July 9.

Dial turned herself in to authorities on July 15 and was released after posting $100,000 bail.

Dial is accused of embezzling $180,873.37 from State Bank and Trust in Beeville where she was employed as a senior vice president between Jan. 1, 2000, and Feb. 10, 2005.

The Pettus High School graduate also is accused of embezzling $106,172.35 from Commercial State Bank (which was owned by SB&T) in Sinton where she served as a bank officer.

A third count of the indictment accuses Dial of attempting to hide the theft of some $117,922 of the stolen money through an interstate or overseas transaction.

State Bank and Trust in Beeville was purchased by International Bank of Commerce last year.

At a hearing before Chief United States District Judge Hayden Head, Dial admitted that while she was employed as a senior vice-president of Commercial State Bank and State Bank and Trust, she stole more than $285,000 from the banks, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday.

“During an audit in June 2005, each bank began to suspect theft and embezzlement by Leslie Dial,” said Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. Thorpe Jr.

“External auditors were brought in and identified a total of 536 unauthorized deposits made into nine separate accounts held by Dial and members of her immediate family. These deposits were posted on 228 separate dates between November 1997 and February 2005.

In January 2000, after being promoted to senior vice-president, a total of $287,045 was embezzled from the two banks with $180,873 attributable to State Bank and Trust and $106,172 attributable to Commercial State Bank.”

Thorpe said Dial embezzled the funds by making unauthorized deposits and offsetting these deposits with charges to various internal accounts used by the banks during routine transfers of funds.

These unauthorized clearing account transactions were processed in the same manner as legitimate transfers between the banks for shared expenses such as payroll for shared employees and other shared costs, he added. Following the discovery of the theft, both Commercial State Bank and State Bank and Trust verified that no depositor’s accounts were affected, Thorpe reported.

Dial faces up to 30 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine for each of her two counts of conviction. She will also be required to pay restitution to each of the banks. Sentencing is set for Nov. 20, 2008, at 2:30 p.m. The case was investigated by agents from the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI and the Federal Deposit Insurance Cooperation.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet