Bank theft suspect appears in court

Attorney indicates case could go to trial

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— One of the women accused of embezzling more than $1.2 million from Alpine Bank accountholders made her first appearance in Routt County Court on Wednesday, and her attorney indicated the case is likely to proceed to trial.

Terri Dawn Moody Fatka, who lives in unincorporated Routt County, was arrested Feb. 21 along with Milner resident Pamela Jean Williams, while working at the downtown Steamboat Springs branch of Bank of the West. The women are accused of stealing $1.2 million from multiple account holders at Alpine Bank, where they previously worked together.

Williams and Fatka are each charged with two counts of theft more than $20,000, a Class 3 felony, and two counts of forgery, a Class 5 felony.

Fatka's attorney, Erick Knaus, indicated he is preparing to take the case to trial by asking the court to set a preliminary hearing.

At a preliminary hearing, a judge hears all the evidence and determines if the prosecution has shown there is enough cause to take the matter to trial. The District Attorney's Office traditionally does not make plea agreements with defendants who have proceeded to a preliminary hearing.

Judge James Garrecht declined to set a preliminary hearing at Fatka's first appearance, instead continuing the case for one week. Fatka is due to appear in Routt County Court at 2 p.m. April 16.

Discovery is still forthcoming in the case, and the prosecution has already received more than 2,800 pages of documents.

"There may be a lot of paper, but the scheme that's alleged here is pretty simple," Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James said.

The $1.2 million reported stolen from Alpine Bank accountholders is suspected to have come from forged "advice of charge" forms, internal bank documents used to keep track of and balance withdrawals when accountholders do not have their checkbooks and do not wish to use a counter check.

At Alpine Bank, at least 95 of those forms traced to Williams and Fatka were used to draw more than $828,000 from a single account, according to police. A second victim alleged bank employees used at least 38 advice of charge forms to withdraw $96,400 from his account.

Fatka and Williams were both released from Routt County Jail on $20,000 bond Feb. 21, the same day they were arrested. Fatka did not enter a plea Wednesday.

Williams is due to make her first appearance in Routt County Court at 2 p.m. today.

The District Attorney's Office has not made a decision as to joining the two cases if both proceed to trial, St. James said.

Comments

steamboatsconscience 6 years, 8 months ago

one of them will plea out, turn evidence and save her hide. guaranteed

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wziwas 6 years, 8 months ago

They should have enough evidence to convict both, without having to have one of them to turn states evidence.

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id04sp 6 years, 8 months ago

828,000 + 964,000 = 1,792,000

So, this is more like 1.8 million dollars. Heck, what's $600,000 among friends?

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sbsmon 6 years, 8 months ago

i'll go out on a limb and guess that id04sp isn't an accountant. ;o)

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