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Fargo bank employee accused of fleecing customer's accounts for $4,200

FARGO - A former assistant manager for Bank of the West here is charged with theft for allegedly making $4,200 in unauthorized cash withdrawals from a customer's two accounts.

Becky Ann Sorum, 26, of Fargo, faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted of the Class C felony theft charge filed Friday in Cass County District Court.

According to the complaint:

Corporate security was notified March 27 by the bank's main branch at 520 Main Ave. that a customer was disputing nine withdrawals totaling $4,200 from his account between Dec. 21 and March 5.

The customer typically withdrew cash by writing $1,000 checks from his checking account once a month. The disputed withdrawals ranged from $100 to $1,000 from his checking account and a money market account.

All of the transactions were completed on the bank's teller system by the branch's assistant customer service manager, a position Sorum had held since August 2010.

In an April 2 interview with corporate security and human resources, Sorum indicated she was familiar with the customer, who often visited the main branch. She admitted that transactions were not always run at the exact time a customer made a withdrawal, but always within the same day, the complaint states.

Sorum also said she occasionally had issues with her image capture scanner but always reported the problem. However, corporate security verified she hadn't submitted any work tickets for the scanner, the complaint states.

The bank immediately placed Sorum on administrative leave. She was scheduled for a follow-up interview on April 4 but resigned the day before. She had worked for the bank since April 2009.

The investigation found that account withdrawal tickets were used to make the cash withdrawals, but Sorum didn't follow the normal procedure of scanning the items into the system as she had done with similar withdrawals, the complaint states.

Surveillance video also showed the customer hadn't visited the branch on the days of the withdrawals.

A call to Sorum's cell phone Monday morning went unanswered, and her voicemail box was full. Court records did not list an attorney for her.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528