Archive for Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Former officials at Meriden bank face embezzlement charges

February 25, 2009


The former president and vice president of a Meriden bank were indicted Wednesday on federal charges of embezzling more than $2 million from the bank.

Scott D. Becker, 49, and Stephanie R. Smith, 33, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit embezzlement and 33 counts of theft, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Becker was once president of Countryside Bank, formerly Meriden State Bank, and Smith was vice president.

A third suspect, Michael R. Wurm, 47, Meriden, also was indicted on the same charges.

According to the indictment, Becker allegedly used his knowledge of the bank’s internal operations to steal more than $2 million from the bank. Some of the money went to fund Becker’s other private businesses, including trucking, leasing, crane service, excavating service and others, a U.S. Attorney’s news release said.

In addition to once being bank vice president, Smith also was involved in some of Becker’s businesses. Wurm was a contractor on construction projects for a branch bank in Topeka and is accused of putting his name on loans that were intended for Becker’s benefit.

In a separate forfeiture count the government is seeking judgment of more than $2 million.

If convicted the suspects face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million on each count.

The Jefferson County Attorney’s office also filed nine counts of misdemeanor criminal deprivation of property against Becker stemming from horses reported missing late last year. If convicted he could be sentenced to up to a year in the county jail on each charge, County Attorney Caleb Stegall said.

Becker was arrested Wednesday in Florida. It was not clear if the Smith and Wurm were in custody.


Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 3 months ago

The little town is spelled Meriden. The second to the last letter is an "e." It's funny that you ask for commentors to check for errors and mistakes.

geniusmannumber1 9 years, 3 months ago

It's funny when people complain that breaking news isn't posted immediately, and that, when it is, the copy is not perfect. It's also funny when people complain about a free service as if they are owed something.

james bush 9 years, 3 months ago

Belt broke the news that Becker had been arrested. The topeka paper did not have that news!

RoeDapple 9 years, 2 months ago

"It was not clear if the Smith and Wurm were in custody."

The Smith and Wurm?



Commenting has been disabled for this item.