Former Bank Employees Plea to Making False Entries
RALEIGH, NC—United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that yesterday in federal court, before Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III, APRIL LYNN LOCKLEAR, 35, of Rowland, North Carolina and CHONA KAY OXENDINE, 32, of Shannon, North Carolina pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false entries in bank records. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000.00.
On March 24, 2015, LOCKLEAR and OXENDINE were indicted by a federal grand jury on 16 counts related to crimes committed while they were employed by the Lumbee Guaranty Bank headquartered in Pembroke, North Carolina. During the course of an investigation into a bank robbery that occurred at the Lumbee Guaranty Bank branch in Red Springs, North Carolina on April 9, 2010, it was discovered that $500,000.00 was missing from the bank in addition to the money stolen during the robbery. The investigation quickly focused on LOCKLEAR and OXENDINE. When questioned by investigators, LOCKLEAR and OXENDINE claimed that they were robbed of $500,000.00 while working alone in the branch in 2009, but did not report the incident due to concerns for their safety. They admitted to falsifying a cash out ticket for the missing funds. A cash out/in ticket is a document that is created to post money into or out of an account, teller drawer or the vault so that it is electronically accounted for.
Investigation revealed that beginning in August 2009, LOCKLEAR and OXENDINE falsified bank entries, reports, and transactions by creating false tickets ranging from $150,000.00 to $500,000.00. These false tickets were created to throw off any audit that would have uncovered the missing money to make it look like money had left the bank. These false entries gave the appearance during an audit that the books were in balance, when in fact they were not.
Additional investigation into LOCKLEAR’S and OXENDINE’S personal bank accounts showed a high volume of unaccounted for cash deposits over several years.
Chief Judge Dever scheduled sentencing for the Court’s February 22, 2016 term of court.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Felice M. Corpening represents the government.