Ex-Indiana Bank Manager Gets 3 Years For Thefts In 2 Schemes

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A former central Indiana bank manager has been sentenced to three years in prison after admitted to stealing over $300,000 from bank customers and a late friend's three children.

Susan Fruits, 46, of Avon was also ordered to pay over $315,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to one count each of bank fraud and mail fraud in the two fraud schemes, federal prosecutors said.

In one scheme, she admitted withdrawing more than $180,000 from customers’ Certificate of Deposit accounts after effectively digitally forging their signatures while serving as manager of a KeyBank branch in Brownsburg, west of Indianapolis.

The second scheme saw Fruits target the trust accounts of three children for whom she served as guardian and trustee of their inheritance. After that person died in 2015, she was named trustee for the three accounts, each which contained more than $50,000 for the friend's three children.

Over the course of eight months, she spent all the money in those accounts on unauthorized purchases and created and mailed false bank statements to conceal the thefts, prosecutors said.

Between the two schemes, Fruits admitted to stealing more than $315,000, said Acting U.S. Attorney John E. Childress.

“Ms. Fruits’ actions were full of greed and selfishness," he said. “It is sad to see someone abuse a position of trust for self-enrichment, especially at the cost of children who have already lost so much."