Feds: Former bank exec from Gilberts stole $3M
By Dave Gathman firstname.lastname@example.org October 26, 2012 3:22PM
Updated: November 29, 2012 6:37AM
GILBERTS — A former bank executive from Gilberts, whose family has been sporadically involved in village politics, is accused of stealing more than $3 million from the bank over the past 15 years to feed a gambling habit.
Dora Asmussen held various positions at the Burling Bank in Chicago, including chief operating officer and executive vice president, putting her in charge of the bank’s daily retail transactions, as well as certain accounting and record-keeping activities. The alleged fraud occurred between approximately 1997 and August 2012, according to prosecutors.
Asmussen, 52, was charged with three counts of bank fraud in an indictment that was returned Thursday by a federal grand jury and was announced on Friday.
The indictment states she “used the stolen funds for her own benefit, primarily for gambling,” but does not specify what kind of gambling or when. In some cases, the indictment says, she used forged checks to pay unnamed “creditors” directly.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago said she is not now in custody but will be arraigned at a later date, probably this week in U.S. District Court. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of $3,074,532 that she allegedly stole.
According to the indictment, Asmussen stole funds by issuing checks drawn on her personal account and cashier’s checks, and that she also misappropriated several customers’ checks. She then used bank 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, according to the indictment.
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 allegedly 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.
Neither Asmussen nor her attorney could be reached for comment. LinkedIn, the social networking site for professional occupations, still listed her Friday as executive vice president and cashier at the bank in downtown Chicago. But a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said she is no longer employed there.
The spokesman would not say when the alleged fraud came to light.
While accusing Asmussen of activity all the way from 1997 through August of this year, totaling $3,074,532, the indictment’s three counts specifically say she forged a cashier’s check for $96,452 in February 2009, forged a cashier’s check for $64,985 in May 2009, and “misappropriated” two checks from a customer totaling $27,904 in May 2012.
Bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine equal to twice as much as the amount stolen, with restitution mandatory.
Asmussen’s husband, Steve Asmussen, was chairman of the Gilberts Plan Commission for awhile starting in the late 1990s. In 1999, he ran for the village board but was defeated by three other candidates.
Village President Rick Zirk said Dora Asmussen was active in former Village President Tom Wajda’s campaign against him for the president’s job in the last village election. But Wajda said Friday that he met Asmussen only “a couple times. She worked to pass out campaign materials for me and that was about it,” Wajda said. “I haven’t seen either (her or Steve Asmussen) for well over a year.”