Former Thief River bank officer charged in $400,000 embezzlement
By Kevin Bonham / Grand Forks Herald
MINNEAPOLIS - A former bank officer in Thief River Falls is facing a federal embezzlement charge after she allegedly stole nearly $400,000 from the bank.
Vicki Lynn Torgerson, 48, was charged last week in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis with embezzlement by a bank officer.
Torgerson, who was a commercial loan officer with Northern State Bank at the time, allegedly took $396,480 in funds from ATMs and back-up cassettes to those ATMs over a period of nearly eight years, between July 2005 and March 2013, according to an informational charge filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kokkinen.
Torgerson, who is free on bond, is scheduled to appear in federal court in Minneapolis on Nov. 14 to enter a guilty plea, according to Jeanne Cooney, community relations director with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Formal sentencing will occur within 90 days of the plea. The maximum penalty is 30 years in federal prison. Whatever sentence is imposed, she likely will spend some time behind bars, Cooney said, because the federal criminal justice system does not have parole.
Law enforcement authorities began investigating the case in March, according to Pennington County Attorney Alan Rogalla. In May, the case had been turned over to the federal prosecutor’s office.
Torgerson was charged under an informational charging document, one in which the offender and the U.S. Attorney’s Office come to an agreement as to what the charge should be, according to Cooney.
“That puts everyone on notice that a plea deal is imminent,” she said. “It’s a quick way to get through the process.”
An informational charge is one of three ways a person can be charged in federal court, according to Cooney.
The most common method is by an indictment returned by a federal grand jury.
The second method is through a complaint filed by prosecutors, which is used to allow a quick arrest, one that may be necessary to stop an illegal activity or for public safety.