Home | Archive | Place Classified | Subscribe | Where to Buy | About | Contact

Search only Ripley News

January 10, 2013

Tami D. Rees is sentenced in federal court
Former Holton woman pleads guilty to embezzling $176,157.52 from the NSB

Wanda English Burnett

Tami D. Rees, 32, North Vernon, formerly of Holton, has pled guilty to embezzling $176,157.52 from the Napoleon State Bank, Napoleon, over a period of four years.

According to information from the United State Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett, Rees worked at the bank for ten years, with the embezzlement beginning about June 11, 2008.

On January 8 Rees pled guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for the embezzlement.

The sentencing took place in the United States District Court Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division with the Honorable Sarah Evans Barker presiding.

"When Hoosiers steal from Hoosiers, we all suffer," noted Hogsett. "We all must do our part to combat this culture of corruption – it weakens our economy, and harms our sense of community."

Court documents reveal that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was contacted in February of 2012 with information regarding embezzlement that had taken place at the Napoleon State Bank. Rees was identified as the alleged perpetrator by investigators.

Rees admitted that over the course of four years, she diverted bank funds to her personal bank accounts on 89 different occasions to total the huge amount taken.

The attorney general's office noted that these unauthorized payments would have been noted, but in Rees' position in the ATM department, she would use the bank's computer system to force the account into false balance. This would in turn hide her theft from bank management.

Due to the high volume of transactions that occur regularly in the ATM system, Rees was able to carry on her embezzlement scheme for quite some time.

Rees admitted to using the funds for a variety of personal purchases. She took several thousand dollars to pay off a home equity line of credit and a personal loan maintained at the Napoleon State Bank. She was stealing from the bank to pay off the loans she had with that very bank.

It was noted that Rees also made direct deposits into her personal checking accounts – again at the Napoleon State Bank.

Hogsett told The Versailles Republican that Rees will likely serve the entire 18 months she has been sentenced to serve. He noted that she can be placed in a variety of federal prisons, and that is up to the Bureau of Prisons. It could be Terre Haute in Indiana, or as far away as California, according to the attorney general. In a court document, it reads in part "that defendant (Rees) be permitted to participate in counseling and that the term of incarceration be served close to defendant's home."

According to Hogsett, Rees has been very cooperative, which could make her request to be close to home a reality if at all possible through the prison system.

Upon her release, the defendant will be very closely monitored by federal parole officers, who are tough, according to Hogsett. He said she will be subject to random home visits, employment checks, if she moves from one place to another and more. Of course, she will carry the stigma of being a convicted felon for the rest of her life.

Court documents reveal that while Rees is on supervised release, the first nine months will be on home detention. After the home detention is served, Rees is ordered to provide 24 months of community service at the rate of 12 hours each month at the direction of the United States Probation Office.

Rees was ordered to participate in counseling as directed by the United States Probation Office and pay restitution to the Napoleon State Bank in the amount of $176,157.52.

Hogsett said, "The U.S. Attorney's Office has in the last year redoubled efforts to hold accountable those who put greed and selfishness ahead of the interest of their employers and our state."

This case was the result of a collaborative investigation along with the United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Health officials encourage residents to get vaccinated

Wanda English Burnett

"The flu season is upon us and it looks like it will be a bad one," Dr. David Welsh, Ripley County's health officer, said at the first meeting of the year for the Ripley County Health Department, where he serves on the board of directors. "Use the three foot rule," he advised, saying keep a space between you and others when you have flu symptoms or others are experiencing them. He also advised to wash your hands often.

"If people are asking if it's too late to get a flu shot, the answer is no," Dr. Welsh noted. "You can and should still get a flu shot," he said.

Vaccinations are still available at the county health department, various pharmacies and the Margaret Mary Community Hospital.

"We encourage people to be vaccinated," noted Powell, who said there have been seven deaths already this flu season, compared to none at the same time last year. "One was in our back door" she commented. While health officials would not say exactly where the death occurred it was in a surrounding county to Ripley.

State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin noted, "I encourage you to get vaccinated now to protect you and your family."

The 2012-2013 vaccine protects against the three most common strains of influenza: H3N2, H1N1, and Influenza B. Health officials say that although cases of the H1N1 and Influenza B have been reported, the H3N2 strain appears to be predominant. Health officials say the present vaccine seems to be combating the circulating flu strains.

Even if you have been vaccinated and begin to experience flu-like symptoms, you are encouraged to contact your doctor. Dr. Larkin said the H3N2 strain seems to be more severe.

Symptoms of the flu include:

• fever of 100 degrees or higher

• headache

• fatigue

• cough

• muscle aches

• sore throat

The flu vaccination is recommended for anyone who is six months or older. It is especially important for those at greater risk of complications. Some likely to be at greater risk include pregnant women, young children, people with chronic illnesses and or compromised immune systems and the elderly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all health care workers become vaccinated to protect themselves and their patients.

Some tips given by the Indiana State Department of Health along with the local health department include:

• Properly wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with warm, soapy water.

• Cover your cough and sneeze with your arm or a disposable tissue.

• Contain the flu by staying home from work or school when you are sick to keep your germs from spreading.

Local health nurse Powell has established a way to make sure you can clean your hands before and after entering the health department now located inside the new annex building in Versailles. There is a stand that dispenses hand sanitizer automatically without touching the device, face masks and tissues for those who might be coughing or sneezing.

"It's just a good practice," she noted, saying germs spread so quickly by your hands. The stand is located at the entry way to the health department before you enter the main part of the building.

The local health department was recognized by the state for their outstanding immunization performance in 2012 at the regular meeting of the health board held Jan. 8. The local department was only one of eight to receive the recognition.

The health department had advertised the flu vaccine at the Gibson Theatre in Batesville partnering with One Better Advertising to show the public service announcement at no cost. The PSA was shown several times prior to each movie and was said to be effective.


Pictured left, Ripley County Health Nurse Vicky Powell, looks on as Holley Peace, health environmental specialist, demonstrates how the new stand works that is situated in the entryway of the health department located in the new courthouse annex in Versailles.

To read these and more articles pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican at your local store or subscribe by clicking on the link above or by calling 812-689-6364.
Ripley Publishing Company, Inc.
115 S. Washington Street
P.O. Box 158
Versailles, Indiana 47042
Phone: (812) 689-6364
Fax: (812) 689-6508
Email: publication@ripleynews.com
© Copyright 2013 Ripley Publishing Co. Inc.