LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The three guilty parties in the nearly $4 million embezzlement case involving First National Bank of Lawrence County have been sentenced.
Brenda Montgomery and Cindy Tate were sentenced to 57 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release, while Peggy Sutton was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison, according to an Arkansas Business report and a Region 8 News report.
Sutton, Tate and Montgomery might sound like a law firm but the trio were on the wrong side of the justice system. The group was involved in a scheme lasting a decade, stealing millions in cash from the main bank’s vault. When they weren’t stealing money, they were transferring money internally to cover their tracks in internal audits.
The bank ownership had asked U.S. District Judge Kristine G. Baker to reject the plea agreement and send the case to trial.
In the agreement, the three women each agreed to be responsible for restitution of close to $1.32 million for a total close to the amount embezzled. The plea also suggested sentencing of 41 to 57 months in federal prison, with an option to withdraw the plea if the judge did not adhere to the suggestion.
Instead, the judge seemed to take the maximum allowed under the arrangement, giving Sutton slightly less due to a co-conspirator status.
First National Bank received an insurance settlement over the incident in 2015.