INDIANAPOLIS – A former Hendricks County bank branch manager was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay more than $300,000 in restitution for stealing from bank customers and three children for whom she served as guardian.
Susan Fruits, 46, was also sentenced to two years of supervised release in connection with a pair of fraud schemes.
The first affected customers at the Brownsburg branch where she worked. Federal prosecutors said Fruits withdrew money from customers’ certificate of deposit (CD) accounts without their knowledge by digitally forging their signatures and then, as branch manager, approving the withdrawals. She stole more than $180,000 through the scheme.
The second scheme involved mail fraud, investigators said. Fruits had been named guardian and trustee of the inheritance for three child whose mother, a close friend of Fruits’, had died. The trust accounts, totaling more than $50,000 for each child, were drained in about eight months, with Fruits making authorized purchases from the accounts.
In an effort to conceal her activities, Fruits created and mailed fake bank statements that showed the accounts still had thousands of dollars in them. However, by the time Fruits was done, the accounts had zero balances.
In all, Fruits admitted to stealing more than $315,000 through both schemes. She pleaded guilty to mail fraud and bank fraud and was ordered to pay restitution.