Women claim bank teller stole $78,000 from account

December 12, 1997|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

A teller at the Eastport branch of Annapolis Bank & Trust Co. forged withdrawal slips and in one year stole more than $78,000 from the joint savings account of an Annapolis woman and her daughter, the women claim in a lawsuit against the bank filed Wednesday.

The women seek $150,000 in each of three counts of negligence, and $100,000 in one count of breach of faith.

The teller, identified only by a number, handled all the challenged withdrawals from the account of Myrtle M. Rawlings of the 500 block of State St. and her daughter, Patricia C. Cline of Rush, Ky., according to the suit.

The signatures on the withdrawal slips between August 1995 and August 1996 are clearly forgeries of Rawlings' signature, her lawyer, L. Vernon Miller Jr., said yesterday. The slips were not sent to Rawlings with the bank's quarterly statements. Miller said he reviewed them through the bank.

Randy Robey, senior vice president of the bank, said he could not comment because neither the bank nor its counsel had received a copy of the lawsuit.

Cline, who grew up in Annapolis, has held a power of attorney for her mother for several years, Miller said. But during the time of the withdrawals, only Rawlings, now 83, made deposits and received the statements, the suit says.

"There's not a chance in the world" that Rawlings made the withdrawals, Miller said.

Cline discovered the suspicious withdrawals in August 1996 and reported them to the bank. She withdrew $75,000 left in the account and bought three certificates of deposit to protect the money, the suit states.

Although the bank has refused to settle in the matter, the mother and daughter keep an account there. "There's not much in it," Miller said.

Pub Date: 12/12/97

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