A FORMER bank manager has been charged with stealing almost three quarters of a million dollars from a BCU branch in Coffs Harbour.
The 58-year-old Coffs Harbour woman, who is no longer employed at the Park Ave branch, is facing a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment after she was this week charged by Coffs-Clarence police with larceny by clerks or servants.
Police will allege the charge relates to offences at the branch between May 2002 and May 2014 where the woman is accused of embezzling $745,008.90.
Over the 12-year-period she allegedly withdrew funds from the branch's automatic teller machines, pilfered money from cash draws, and falsified internal bank records in an effort to conceal her alleged crimes.
Police say the woman was approached by a senior employee of the bank in May last year who questioned her in relation to discrepancies in the branch's financial records.
The woman allegedly admitted she had stolen $690,000, telling her colleague the theft was driven by a "gambling habit".
Police said a subsequent audit by the credit union revealed a further $55,008 had been embezzled from the branch over the 12-year-period.
An extensive investigation by detectives from the Coffs-Clarence Local Area Command resulted in the woman being charged on Thursday.
The woman is due to appear before the Coffs Harbour Local Court on November 2.
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