Barbara Kaye Rechtzigel, a former employee of Minnwest Bank in Marshall, pleaded guilty Monday to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from customers, the United States Attorney's Office District of Minnesota said.
Rechtzigel pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement by a bank officer.
She was charged on July 23 and entered her plea before United States District Court Judge John R. Tunheim.
In her plea agreement, Rechtzigel, 47, of Belview, admitted that from 1998 through June 2012, she embezzled the money for personal use, primarily to pay off shopping debts.
At the time of her termination, on June 4, Rechtzigel was the senior operations manager at the bank's Marshall location.
According to the U.S. State's Attorney's Office, Rechtzigel created false paperwork to make bank customers believe their CDs were renewed and earning interest, when, in fact, she was stealing and spending their money.
The bank ultimately paid customers victimized by the scheme the value of their CDs, as reported by Rechtizgel, even though those accounts had been depleted by her, the U.S. State's Attorney's Office said.
The bank paid out more than $1 million.
Rechtzigel faces a potential maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
Her sentence will be determined at a future hearing that has yet to be scheduled.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Marshall Police
Department, with assistance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-Office of Inspector General.
It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Otteson.