GREENCASTLE -- A former teller for a local bank has pled guilty to felony theft.
Sheila Shoemaker, 39, is accused of embezzling more than $87,000 from First Financial Bank in Greencastle, where she was the head teller.
Six counts of Class D felony theft were filed against Shoemaker on Oct. 22. She was in Putnam County Circuit Court the same day for an initial hearing, where she entered preliminary not guilty pleas to all charges. Her bond was set at $20,000 with 10 percent allowed, and she posted the 10 percent and was released from jail on Oct. 25.
Shoemaker has now pled guilty to two of the counts against her. Judge Matthew Headley has taken a plea agreement, which dismisses the other four counts, under advisement and set Shoemaker's sentencing for March 10.
Class D felonies are punishable by a maximum of three years in prison.
Court records said Shoemaker had been stealing from First Financial since she began working there in 2005. She was charged with one county of theft for each year she worked at the bank.
In her position as head teller at First Financial, Shoemaker was charged with keeping track of and counting the money in the bank's vault. On the day of Shoemaker's arrest, an audit revealed that the vault at the bank was nearly $78,000 short. Shoemaker's cash drawer was over $9,000 short.
On the day of the audit, bank officials sent Shoemaker home. Before she left, Shoemaker told the officials the vault would not balance, court records said.
An affidavit of probable cause said Shoemaker confessed on the day of the audit that she had been taking money since the bank branch began operation in 2005. Shoemaker estimated the total of her thefts at $84,000, court documents said.
The affidavit said Shoemaker told police that at the beginning she would take small amounts of money -- $100 to $200 at a time. She said the most she ever took at one time was $2,500.
Shoemaker told police the last time she had stolen money from the bank was at the beginning of October, and that she had taken $1,000.
Court documents said Shoemaker told police she never bought any large items with the money she stole. She said she used it to purchase Christmas gifts and pay household bills.