A former Minnesota bank manager was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison for embezzling “hundreds of thousands of dollars” from Minnwest Bank, according to Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Barbara Kaye Rechtzigel, a 48-year-old woman from the southwestern Minnesota town of Belview, was sentenced on one count of embezzlement by a bank officer.
Rechtzigel was the senior operations manager at Minnwest’s Marshall location until she was fired last June.
In addition to handing down the prison sentence, U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim ordered Rechtzigel to pay more than $1 million in restitution to Minnwest.
Rechtzigel was charged in July and pleaded guilty the following month.
In her plea agreement, she admitted that from 1998 through June 2012, she embezzled money for her personal use, primarily to pay off shopping debts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. During the scheme, she created false paperwork to make bank customers believe that their certificate of deposit (CD) accounts were being renewed and earning interest; in reality, Rechtzigel was stealing and spending the money.
Minnwest ultimately repaid more than $1 million to the customers victimized by Rechtzigel’s fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.