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Sam Penrod ReportingTwo men who defrauded the Bank of Ephraim of five million dollars were sentenced today. Many who were in court say the men got off way too easy.
The judge gave both men the low end of the sentencing guidelines. Randy McArthur, the bank employee blamed for embezzling the money, will spend seven years in prison. His friend who forged documents will serve three and a half. But for those who lost money, their jobs and their community bank, the sentence did not seem enough.
After nearly 100 years in business, the Bank of Ephraim was ruled insolvent after the discovery that five million dollars was missing. Randy McArthur, a longtime bank employee, pleaded guilty to bank fraud, admitting to an elaborate scheme of embezzling on average $20,000 a month for twenty years.
McArthur's friend Dean Johnson would doctor bank documents that kept the theft hid from auditors until last May. The missing five million put the bank in the red, forcing regulators to shut it down.
Brent Wallace, Former Bank Employee: "Who wouldn't spend time in prison for $700,000 a year at for the five million he stole, for the time they got?"
Several former Bank of Ephraim employees who made the trip for the sentencing find it hard to believe that someone who did so much damage received the lightest sentence possible. What adds insult to injury is that McArthur told investigators he had gambled all of the money away by making frequent trips to Las Vegas casinos.
Brent Wallace: "Given the severity of how people were hurt, people's mistrust, some for the rest of their lives, people lost their retirement, people lost investment in the bank, employees that were hurt, I thought it was a pretty lenient sentence."
McArthur and Johnson were not taken into custody after sentencing today. They will remain free for another month before reporting to a federal prison. They were also ordered to pay three million dollars in restitution to the FDIC.