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Woman admits to stealing more than $800,000 from banks in eastern Iowa

A former Iowa bank employee faces up to 30 years in prison after she admitted to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of about nine years.
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A former Iowa bank employee faces up to 30 years in prison after she admitted to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of about nine years.

Heidi Wagler, 50, of Wayland, Iowa, was in charge of payroll for seven banks controlled by Country Bancorporation, headquartered in Crawfordsville, in eastern Iowa.  Her husband was the director, president and CEO of one of those banks, when Wagler paid herself and her husband extra compensation to which they were not entitled, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Between June 2004 and October 2013, Wagler received $864,835 in additional compensation she did not earn, according to the FBI.  She admitted to paying herself the excess compensation “from each of the seven banks at various times over the course of her embezzlement,” the DOJ statement said.

Before acquiring Lone Tree bank in March 2015, Country Bancorporation owned these seven banks: Walker State Bank in Walker; Hiawatha Bank & Trust Co. in Hiawatha; Center Point Bank & Trust Co. in Center Point; Exchange State Bank in Springville; Peoples Trust & Savings Bank in Riverside; Peoples Savings Bank in Crawfordsville; and White State Bank in South English.

Wagler also admitted to paying compensation to her husband, which he had not earned, between January 2008 and November 2013, the DOJ statement said.

Wagler was charged September 21, 2015.  She pleaded guilty in federal court in Cedar Rapids to one count of embezzlement by a bank officer on Tuesday, October 6, 2015;  Wagler remained free pending sentencing.

“She faces a possible maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to twice the loss resulting from her offense, a $100 special assessment, and five years of supervised release following any imprisonment,” the  DOJ statement said.  She could also be ordered to pay restitution.

A sentencing date had not yet been set.