B'ville fraud suspect faces new counts
BY LAURA SUMMERS World Correspondent
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
3/22/11 at 6:19 AM
BARTLESVILLE - A former Bartlesville bank employee is facing new charges in a case involving money taken from the accounts of older customers.
Patricia L. Swearingin, 63, who was charged Jan. 11 with embezzlement and financial exploitation, now faces three forgery charges alleging that she wrote and cashed fraudulent checks on the accounts of an older customer and a deceased customer of Osage Federal Bank.
Police were called in December to the bank's Bartlesville branch by CEO Mark White, who was concerned about possible embezzlement from certificate of deposit accounts, an affidavit states.
The investigation found that Swearingin, who had worked at the bank for more than 10 years, cashed $29,397 in checks from accounts belonging to older customers between August and November, the affidavit states.
The initial charges included 10 counts of embezzlement. Bank officials later reviewed security video and notified the police about evidence of other transactions involving older customers' accounts.
The new charges allege that Swearingin created and cashed a check for $3,000 in October on the account of a customer who died in September, the affidavit states. Another check for $1,800 was cashed on the same customer's account in August.
The third forgery charge accuses Swearingin of creating and cashing a $2,000 check from a 77-year-old customer's account. The customer told police that she did not write or cash the check and that she was especially upset because she thought Swearingin was a friend, the affidavit states.