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Former bank vice president appears in court

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A former Whitney bank vice president appeared in federal court Thursday on charges of embezzling $6 million. Mary Helen Lane, also known as "Murty" is accused of taking the money from First National Bank in Whitney over a 10 year period.

Lane was released Thursday on a $100,000 unsecured bond.

Her Houston attorney, John Floyd, tells News Channel 25 both he and the prosecutor agreed she was not a flight risk. He says she is living in the Houston area near family.

Lane has agreed to plead guilty and is set for re-arraignment March 7 in district court.

She is accused of taking large amounts of money from the bank vault and creating false outage, vault, and transfer tickets starting in 2002.   Lane is also accused of creating fraudulent cashiers checks.

Lane is said to have spent most of the money on gambling and casinos in Oklahoma, Las Vegas, and Louisiana. She is accused of giving co-workers $100 bills after she would come back from her gambling trips, telling them she had won money gambling. She also spent some of the money on sports cars.

A former neighbor of Lane's says she was a very down to earth person and never flaunted her money.  The neighbor did say he saw a Corvette and a Camaro in her driveway.

A former co-worker says Lane often kept large amounts of cash at her home, and on more than one occasion when the bank would run out of $100 bills she would go home, retrieve $100 bills and bring them to the bank and exchange them for smaller currency. 

That same co-worker told investigators approximately two weeks after resigning, Lane cashed ten checks for $2,000 each, payable to her sister, and had them deposited in her own account.  Then two months later she had $11,000 cash put in her account, and again told the employee not to file a Currency Transaction Report, which if required by law.

Lane faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, along with having to pay restitution. 

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