Former Bank Manager Ordered To Repay $5.3 Million

Wednesday, April 4th 2007, 10:38 am
By: News On 6

New developments in a fraud case against a former Wagoner bank manager. Arvest Bank has calculated its losses down to the penny. Now a Wagoner County district court judge rules that former manager Rhonda Harris should pay back $5.3 million. Arvest Bank says when they took over the Wagoner bank three years ago, records were spotty. The bank has changed hands almost a half-dozen times, but the one constant was Rhonda Harris.

News On 6 anchor Terry Hood reports investigators believe Rhonda Harris swindled more than $5 million over her 26-year tenure. "They told me what had happened and I couldn't hardly believe it,” said Arvest customer Terry Crawford. “I just didn’t expect that."

Customers like Crawford were shocked to find their accounts drained.

"We believe we'll have a paper trial, an electronic trail, of where the money was taken and make sure that we get it back in the right accounts as soon as possible," said Arvest President and CEO Don Walker.

The bank has reimbursed defrauded customers. Arvest is now waiting on fraud insurance to kick in and help recoup some of its losses.

Harris is still the center of a criminal investigation by the FBI. Arvest says it’s shocked that it has taken so long and that no charges have been filed.

Any criminal charges will be filed in federal court. Even though a Wagoner County judge has ruled Harris responsible for the losses, the local Arvest president expects only a small amount of that $5 million will ever be paid back.

Related story:

10/27/2006 - Arvest Bank Files Civil Lawsuit Against Former Wagoner Employee