Former bank employee accused of embezzlement

By DeeAnna Haney | Jun 09, 2013
Leeann Allison

A local bank employee faces felony charges after she allegedly embezzled money from an elderly customer's banking account.

Leeann Allison, 30, of Maggie Valley, who until recently worked at SunTrust bank of Waynesville, is accused of forging a customer's signature and embezzling $5,000.

Ninety-year-old Walter Leonard said he is a longtime client of SunTrust bank.

"She had taken care of me several times when I came in to make withdrawals," Leonard said of Allison.

One day in April, Leonard noticed that $5,000 was drafted from his account as a withdrawal — a transaction he knew he didn't make.

Leonard told police he went to SunTrust on May 12 and spoke with Allison about the issue. In response, she told him that she "would take care of it."

When his money had not been returned by May 23, Leonard approached Allison again and he received the same response from Allison.

According to police reports, Allison failed to show up to work the next day. Investigators with SunTrust found that Allison was removing money from Leonard's account and the case was turned over to the Waynesville Police Department.

After drawing warrants for her arrest, law enforcement contacted Allison, who turned herself in for arrest.

She is charged with felony embezzlement, felony forgery of endorsement and felony uttering a forged endorsement. She was released from custody with a written promise to appear in Haywood County District Court on June 12.

SunTrust has since returned the stolen money to Leonard's account, he said.