MINNEAPOLIS - A former employee who pleaded guilty to embezzling money from Minnwest Bank over a period of more than 12 years was sentenced in federal court, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Barbara Kaye Rechtzigel, 48, of Belview, received a two-year prison sentence and an order to pay more than $1 million in restitution.
The Department of Justice said Rechtzigel was sentenced Wednesday for one count of embezzlement by a bank officer. Rechtzigel pleaded guilty to the charge in August. U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim sentenced Rechtzigel to serve 24 months in federal prison, and to pay $1,013,018.27 in restitution to Minnwest Bank.
In her plea agreement, Rechtzigel admitted to stealing money from the CD accounts of bank customers between 1998 and June 2012. Rechtzigel admitted creating false paperwork to make customers think their CDs were being renewed and earning interest, when she was actually taking and spending the money to pay shopping debts. Rechtzigel's employment at Minnwest was terminated in June, and the bank repaid victims more than $1 million.
At the time she was terminated from Minnwest, Rechtzigel was the senior operations manager at the bank's Marshall location.
Rechtzigel's court case was 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.