DAYTON, OH (FOX19) - A former bank manager was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison and three years of supervised release for embezzling from the accounts of elderly customers.
Diane Elizabeth Niehaus, 40, of Sugarcreek Township, Ohio was sentenced in U.S. District Court. She was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims of her embezzlement and to the IRS.
According to court documents, Niehaus managed the Union Savings Bank branch in Centerville between 2007 and 2010. Using her position with the bank, she targeted and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from elderly customers, many of whom she knew to suffer from dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Authorities said to prevent detection of her embezzlement, Niehaus reportedly created fictitious gift letters and fraudulent powers of attorney and engaged in complicated and layered financial transactions. Court documents state Niehaus frequently converted the money into a cashier's check or official check that she then negotiated at USB or other locations. Authorities said Niehaus illegally earned thousands of dollars through this embezzlement scheme, and she failed to report this fraudulently-obtained income on her federal income tax returns.
Niehaus pleaded guilty in September 2013 to one count each of embezzlement, money laundering and filing a false income tax return.
U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black sentenced her to pay restitution to the bank, which had reimbursed the customers for their losses, and to the IRS. The exact amount will be determined in the next 90 days.