TAWAS CITY – A National City woman was sentenced to three months in jail, a probation term and ordered to pay restitution after she embezzled more than $10,000 from the Northland Area Federal Credit Union.
Bethann Kraenzlein, 48, struck a plea deal on 19 individual charges of felony embezzlement from a financial institution while she worked as a teller for the credit union. The court dismissed those charges and Kraenzlein pleaded guilty to a single charge of attempted embezzlement by an agent greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000.
She was sentenced to three months in jail, less credit for two days served, a probation term of five years, and was ordered to pay a total of $12,518 in assessments, of which $10,650 are to Northland Area Federal Credit Union. Kraenzlein must also serve 40 hours of community service.
According to officers from the Tawas Police Authority, an investigation into the embezzlement began in October when a customer from the Tawas City credit union branch inquired about a $500 withdrawal that he claimed he did not make from his account.
Credit union officials made an inquiry and showed that the customer had requested $20 on Sept. 22 and that Kraenzlein – who worked at that branch – completed the transaction, with a signed receipt by the customer.
“A few hours later on Sept. 22 another $500 withdrawal transaction was completed by Kraenzlein (from the aforementioned customer’s account),” as stated in the report.
Credit union officials said there was no signed receipt for this transaction, and video surveillance confirmed the customer was not in the credit union location at the time of the transaction.
Investigators said that the video showed Kraenzlein running the transaction, dispensing cash from the cash recycler and putting the cash into a drive-thru envelope. Shortly after the video showed her putting the cash envelope into her purse.
An investigation by credit union officials showed that from between April 18 through Oct. 12 Kraenzlein withdrew amounts between $300 to $2,000 from 10 different member accounts.
From the various accounts, the most she took from an individual account, from the investigation, was a total of $2,000 from a member account five different times. The total amount allegedly embezzled was $10,650.
Kraenzlein admitted to withdrawing the money without permission while working at the credit union. She told police that she got behind financially and used the cash to pay bills, rent, car insurance, food, gas and toward her business, Pink Zebra.