A woman who worked at Key Bank branches in Warren and Saratoga counties pleaded guilty to a felony Wednesday for stealing $483,784 from the bank while working as a teller, court records show.
Caitlin Kenney, 33, pleaded guilty to theft by a bank employee for allegedly stealing cash between September 2013 and February 2017 while working at the bank’s branches in Queensbury and Malta, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Albany.
Court records show she removed cash and falsified records to conceal the thefts while working as “head teller” at the bank branches. She worked in the Queensbury branch on Quaker Road until October 2016, stealing $408,784 during that time period. She was transferred to the Malta branch, where she stole an additional $75,000 before the bank discovered the theft there through an audit.
Records show she stole cash by taking it from a vault and indicating it had been placed in the bank’s “cash box” when it had not, then falsifying computer records to indicate the transfers had occurred per bank policy.
It was unclear whether any customers were affected by the theft. A call to Key Bank’s corporate office was not immediately returned Thursday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett said the case was investigated by the FBI, but his office could not comment on how the bank determined the theft had occurred.
Kenney was charged Wednesday and pleaded guilty in federal court the same day.
Her lawyer, Fred Rench, said Kenney was very remorseful and the thefts came when she was under significant “personal stress,” but he said he could not elaborate. He said the money was stolen in increments over a period of years.
“She was a model citizen with no criminal record,” he said. “This conduct was so aberrant.”
He said the case showed a concerning lack of controls at bank branches that allowed the thefts to go on for years.
Kenney is free, pending sentencing May 13 by U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy.
The charge is punishable by up to 30 years in federal prison, although court records show prosecutors would recommend “downward departures” for her “acceptance of responsibility.” Federal guidelines recommend a prison term of 21 to 27 months.
The plea agreement indicates Kenney agreed not to appeal if her sentence is 37 months in prison or less.
She will also have to make restitution.