A Grand Forks woman admitted on Monday, Sept. 23, to embezzling nearly $400,000 over 10 months from the bank where she previously worked.
Amber Nicole Ostgard was sentenced to spend about five months in jail, though she is eligible for electronic home monitoring.
An affidavit for her arrest said Ostgard worked at Frandsen Bank, 1616 S. Washington St., for several years. From March 1, 2018, until Jan. 23, 2019, she made transfers between accounts and kept hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A statement from Frandsen Bank said the customers impacted were notified and all funds were restored.
Chief Administrative Officer Karen Brekke said in a prepared statement that the bank has "rigorous audit procedures in place," which quickly revealed Ostgard's actions. Her employment was terminated immediately, Brekke said.
"We are very surprised and saddened to learn that one of our former team members was involved in this sort of activity," CEO Chuck Mausbach said in a press release. "We are cooperating closely with law enforcement officials who are actively pursuing the case."
She pleaded guilty to charges that said she used other people’s personal information to take money from account holders at least 11 times, totaling $181,970. Ostgard also admitted to taking about $150,500 from bank accounts.
A theft charge alleging she stole $210,000 on at least 22 occasions, was dismissed. Another charge of misapplication of entrusted property alleged Ostgard “exercised unauthorized control over an amount of $701,590.” The count was also dropped.
Ostgard was sentenced to five months in jail for misapplication of entrusted property and forgery. She will be on probation for three years and is required to pay back nearly $176,000.