U.S. Bank Worker Accused of Embezzlement, Cover Up

A bank employee allegedly stole $62,240 from a branch in Kansas and then played victim in order to cover up his illegal activity.

A U.S. Bank employee and three others have been charged in connection with a scheme through which they admitted to embezzling $62,240 from a branch in Overland Park, Kansas, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in Kansas.

At about 7:30 a.m. on November 10, a bank employee arrived to find fellow employee Michael Grace seated in a chair at the bank, bound with duct tape and bleeding from the nose, the complaint said. Grace said at the time that he had been kidnapped at his home around 1:30 a.m. and forced to go to the bank to get money for the robber.

The complaint said that surveillance footage showed Grace being led around the empty bank by a heavy-set masked individual who was not carrying a weapon.

Later in the day, when Grace was taken to the Overland Park Police Department, he admitted that he and three others-Brenden L. Connors, David Batson, and Jaccob McWhirt-embezzled the money, according to the complaint.

Batson admitted that he drove Grace and Connors to the bank in order to embezzle the funds, and Connors said that he hit Grace so that Grace would bleed and appear to have been beaten by the robber. Grace admitted that he and Connors-who wore the mask captured in the surveillance footage-used his key to the automated teller machine to access and retrieve the money. McWhirt allegedly agreed to help hide the stolen money, and later that same day police and FBI agents found a duffel bag containing “a large amount of cash” in the trunk of his car.

Each of the four defendants, if convicted, could face up to 30 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine.

U.S. Bank is a subsidiary of Minnesota's largest bank-holding company, Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, which had $284 billion in assets as of June 30, 2010.