Woman charged in theft from Community Bank branch

Michelle M. Paul is accused of 'redepositing' checks totaling more than $9,000 in June.

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WALLA WALLA -- A woman who worked at the Eastgate branch of Community Bank has been charged with stealing more than $9,000 from the financial institution in June.

Michelle M. Paul, 36, of 810 Walnut St., Waitsburg, was charged Friday in Walla Walla County Superior Court with first-degree theft.

Paul -- who was operations supervisor and a teller -- is accused of "redepositing" four checks June 4 that had been presented by three customers and processed about two months earlier. Paul allegedly cashed the checks and pocketed the total of $9,145.13, according to a Walla Walla police report filed in court.

The initial deposits, with some cash back requested by the customers, reportedly were made in April. The checks should have been shredded 30 days after they initially were presented, but "were somehow kept in a separate place, known most likely only to Michele Paul," the police report says.

The alleged theft, which occurred the last day the branch was open to the public, was discovered by the Federal Reserve Bank and Paul was fired June 22, according to officials.

She has not been arrested, but is being summoned to court Dec. 27 for her first appearance on the charge.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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