A former bank employee in Winfield was recently sentenced to time served and two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution, after pleading guilty to embezzling nearly $600,000 from her former employer.

Audrey Elkins, of Winfield, pleaded guilty to one county of credit union embezzlement, a class B felony, after stealing the money from her former employer, the William Newton Memorial Hospital Credit Union, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. 

In addition to time served and supervised release, Elkins must also undergo mental health counseling and pay $260,500 in restitution, with $260,000 of that going to CUMIS Insurance and the other $500 going to Wellington-based Panhandle Federal Credit Union, which WNMH Credit Union merged with after Elkins’ employment ended in 2017.

Elkins is accused of embezzling the money by creating fictitious loans and converting the money to her own use. The crime allegedly occurred between November 2010 to November 2017. Court documents state that Elkins did not embezzle from the credit union for personal gain, but because she “felt as though she had no other choice.”

Elkins was facing a possible sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison and up to a $1 million fine.

“Although I hate to see any financial institution cease to exist, we have truly enjoyed welcoming our WNMH Credit Union members into our Panhandle FCU family,” PFCU President Danny Crittenden said when asked if he wanted to comment on the case. 

“We’re very much looking forward to building upon these relationships for many years to come, as well as being involved with the Winfield community.”

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