FDIC penalizes former Steamboat bank official

Lucy Middleton accused of taking money from Yampa Valley Bank

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— Lucy Middleton, former assistant vice president at Yampa Valley Bank in Steamboat Springs, can no longer conduct affairs for a bank.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. stated Friday that Middleton had agreed to the order, called an order of prohibition from further participation. Middleton managed the automated teller machine and the tellers at Yampa Valley Bank from Aug. 7, 2006, to Sept. 8, 2009.

Middleton worked at the bank starting in March 2006, bank President and CEO PJ Wharton said. He said she had previous banking experience.

According to a release from Wharton, in 2009 the bank “uncovered a violation of our policies and procedures by a single employee.”

The release stated that Middleton took less than $80,000. The initial FDIC report said she took $92,000 and returned $15,000 after the incident was discovered, The Associated Press reported. That returned money accounts for the difference in figures, Wharton said. He said the rest of the money was fully returned by about October 2009.

“We immediately took all appropriate actions, including termination of the employee, full recovery of the amounts involved … and full reporting to governmental agencies,” Yampa Valley Bank’s release states. “The FDIC conducted an independent review of the matter, resulting in its order of prohibition from further participation.”

Wharton said he was not aware of any criminal charges filed against Middleton. She did not return a call seeking comment Friday afternoon.

The bank called the resolution “satisfactory” and said neither the bank nor any customers incurred a loss.

The FDIC issued its order May 26 of this year. In part, the order states that Middleton’s actions “demonstrate the respondent’s unfitness to serve as a director, officer, person participating in the conduct of the affairs or as an institution-affiliated party of the bank.”

Wharton said in an interview Friday that the bank noticed the situation because it has dual controls in place.

“We were pleased that our internal procedures caught it,” Wharton said. “We caught it internally, we dealt with it immediately and had complete repayment because our policies and procedures worked.”

He added, “Our system of checks and balances worked and the incident was quickly and successfully resolved with no loss to customers or the bank.”

To reach Blythe Terrell, call 970-871-4234 or email bterrell@SteamboatToday.com

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