U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas
(316) 269-6481
December 16, 2015

Indictment: Teller in Coffey County Embezzled $700,000 from Bank

TOPEKA, KS—A former teller for a bank in Burlington has been indicted on charges of embezzling approximately $700,000 from the bank, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Denise Christy, 47, Burlington, Kan., is charged with one count of embezzlement, six counts of making false bank entries, six counts of filing false tax returns and 10 counts of money laundering.

The indictment alleges the crimes were committed while Christy worked as a retail financial services representative and backup vault teller for the Burlington branch of Central National Bank. One of Christy’s duties was to sell cash in the bank’s vault to the Federal Reserve Bank. In May 2014 auditors determined that more than $700,000 was missing from the vault. Christy falsely claimed the money was shipped to the Federal Reserve Bank via the Garda security company. An investigation showed Christy falsified bank records to cover up the embezzlement and failed to report the embezzled funds as part of her income. In addition, she unlawfully conducted financial transactions in order to spend more than $77,000 in embezzled funds to pay off loans that she and her husband maintained at Farmers State Bank in Aliceville, Kan.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:

Embezzlement: A maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million.

Making false bank entries: A maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million on each count.

False tax returns: A maximum penalty of three years and a fine up to $100,000 on each count.

Money laundering: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine u8p to $50,000 on each count.

The Internal Revenue Service investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rich Hathaway is prosecuting.

Other Grand Jury Indictments

Richard Alan Watson, 57, Topeka, Kan., is charged with one count of attempted bank robbery.

The indictment alleges that on Dec. 1, 2015, Watson attempted to rob U.S. Bank at 3600 S.W. Topeka Boulevard in Topeka.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag is prosecuting.

James Carter Heard, Jr., 44, Opelika, Ala., is charged with one count of failing to register as required by the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. The crime is alleged to have occurred from March 2 to December 3, 2015, in Kansas.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000. The U.S. Marshals Service investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Kenney is prosecuting.

Jeremiah L. Johnson, 37, Topeka, Kan., is charged with escaping from custody at the Mirror, Inc., Residential Reentry Center in Topeka, Kan. The crime is alleged to have occurred Sept. 22, 2015.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000. The U.S. Marshals Service investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard is prosecuting.

Juan Manuel Vasquez-Montalvo, 48, Topeka, Kan., and Francisco Javier Villalobos-Citalan, 40, are charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. In addition, Villalobos-Citalan is charged with five counts of distributing methamphetamine. The crimes are alleged have occurred at various times from Aug 2015 to December 2015 in Shawnee County, Kan.

Upon conviction, the conspiracy count carries a penalty of not less than 10 years and a fine up to $10 million. The distribution counts carry a penalty of not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $5 million on each count. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard is prosecuting.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

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