Bank manager in Missouri pleads guilty to defrauding elderly customers

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A former bank branch manager from Florissant, Missouri on Monday admitted targeting elderly customers of her bank and stealing $175,000 of customers’ money.

Andrea Nicole Hopkins, 28, pleaded guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig to four felony counts of bank fraud. 

From Feb. 20, 2020, to May 25, 2021, while manager of the Commerce Bank branch on Natural Bridge Avenue in St. Louis, she devised a scheme to divert money from customer accounts for her own use. She targeted elderly customers, knowing that some had a diminished capacity to understand their financial affairs, her plea agreement says. Among the victims are two 80-year-olds, one 95-year-old, and one 82-year-old.

Hopkins logged into 15 accounts and transferred funds out into either cashier’s checks or prepaid cards in the names of other people, her plea says. She changed the address on some account statements, forged signatures, and transferred funds among customers to try and hide the thefts.

In all, Hopkins fraudulently diverted a total of $328,273 from customer accounts, but $152,431 of that she transferred internally among customers to hide her theft, leaving $175,842 for her. Hopkins used the money to buy a motorcycle, pay for living expenses, and to pay personal debts.

Hopkins is scheduled to be sentenced on May 8. The charges carry a penalty of up to 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or both.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Bateman is prosecuting the case.  

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