CHICAGO (STMW) — A former executive of a Chicago bank stole more than $3 million from the institution over 15 years and using it mainly to feed her gambling habit, according to federal prosecutors.

Dora Asmussen, 52, served as COO, executive vice president and in several other positions at Burling Bank, and had access to daily retail transactions, accounting and record-keeping, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. The fraud occurred roughly between 1997 and August 2012 at the bank, located in the Board of Trade building.

Asmussen, of Gilberts, was charged with three counts of bank fraud in an indictment returned Thursday by a federal grand jury, and will be arraigned at a later date. The indictment seeks forfeiture of $3,074,532.

According to the indictment, Asmussen stole funds by issuing checks drawn on her personal account and cashier’s checks, and also misappropriated customers’ checks. She then used banks funds to cover the payment of those checks, making false entries in internal records to conceal the thefts.

After drawing checks on her personal account, she would stop them from being debited to her account by physically removing the checks when they were delivered to the bank, the indictment alleges. She then made false entries so payments were made from the bank funds instead of her own.

She also used cashier’s checks payable to herself or her creditors, sometimes forging the signature of a bank employee, the indictment alleges. She would also steal checks that customers deposited, then manually enter credits to the customers’ accounts and debit the bank’s general ledger, placing the money in her own accounts through ATMs.

She provided false information to the FDIC, state regulators, the board of directors and auditors to cover her tracks, the indictment alleges.

The stolen money was used for personal expenses, including gambling, the indictment alleges.

Bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, with restitution mandatory.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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