A former American Savings Bank employee whose theft bank officials allegedly tried to cover up is going to jail for four months for embezzlement and theft of public money.
A federal judge sentenced Marylin P. DeMotta this morning to the jail term followed by three years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge David Ezra also ordered DeMotta, 43, to perform 250 hours of community service.
The prosecutor recommended no jail time because DeMotta cooperated with investigators and paid back the money.
DeMotta, former assistant manager of ASB’s Hawaii Kai branch, pleaded guilty in April to cashing two cashier’s checks, each for $91,500, in 2004 that were supposed to pay a customer’s capital gains taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Shipley said DeMotta’s case took so long to prosecute because investigators were looking into whether other ASB officials committed crimes by having the customer and DeMotta sign a promissory note after the fact.
In 2006 the customer, whose checks to the IRS DeMotta cashed, sued ASB in state court over the theft and alleged attempt to cover it up.
On that same day ASB’s former security director filed his own whistle-blower lawsuit in state court accusing the bank of trying to discourage him from reporting the theft to state and federal regulators then retaliating against him when he did.
ASB promptly settled out of court with the customer and security director.
And Shipley said investigators did not find evidence of criminal behavior by ASB in part because the customer had died. He said the government concluded instead that ASB officials were incompetent and did things to protect the bank’s reputation.