Oct 18, 2011 Karen Umpierre
A former employee of Georgia-based Community & Southern Bank has been accused of skimming money from several customer accounts and creating fake ones to cover the losses, WSB-TV reports. Sherri Whitlock Hines was indicted last week in Carroll County Superior Court on five counts of theft by taking and seven counts of identity theft. An internal audit conducted earlier this year identified various discrepancies and revealed that Hines had stolen more than $60,000 from client bank accounts. That number may turn out to be more than $100,000 when fraudulent loans are factored in, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Hines was fired from the bank after the discovery. However, her lawyer, Mac Pilgrim, believes the bank's instability should be factored in before his client is accused of any wrongdoing. "(The bank has seen a) mass turnover, huge turnover at the top end, and we're not sure if it's an internal issue or if someone has framed her to make it look this way or if she's being used as a scapegoat," Pilgrim told the news source. Hines' branch had belonged to First National Bank of Georgia, which failed last year.