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Accused Embezzlers Plead Guilty

Accused Embezzlers Plead Guilty

Posted - Sep. 13, 2004 at 5:12 p.m.



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Sam Penrod Reporting The men accused of causing the collapse of the Bank of Ephraim say they are guilty of embezzling millions of dollars. But the money they are accused of stealing appears to be long gone.

The two are accused of stealing nearly five million dollars. It's safe to say that the two stole more money than all of the bank robbers in Utah ever have or ever will, but it's likely they'll get off a lot easier than the average bank robber would.

Randy McArthur was an executive with the Bank of Ephraim. Today he and his longtime friend Dean Johnson admitted they embezzled millions of dollars starting back in the late 1980's.

Back in June the theft caused the Bank of Ephraim to collapse, costing shareholders and big depositors thousands of dollars, much of it may never be recovered.

McArthur and Johnson admitted to an elaborate scheme where McArthur would cash official checks of the bank and then instruct Johnson on the amounts to doctor statements to the bank, which he did by cutting and pasting numbers and then making copies look original. The embezzlement went undetected by bank auditors and outside accountants until May of this year.

As part of today's plea deal, both suspects only admitted to one count of federal bank fraud, for stealing $20,000. While the maximum sentence is 30 years in prison, the deal means prosecutors will only recommend the low end of the possible sentence.

That upsets many depositors and employees who can't figure out why the men are getting off so easy. What's even more upsetting to victims is that prosecutors today confirmed that the majority of the money was gambled away in the casinos of Las Vegas.

The judge ordered Dean Johnson into custody because he was late to court and never got a telephone to keep in contact with the court. Randy McArthur remains free, but has surrendered his passport.

Both men will be sentenced November 22nd.

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