AVON, Ind. — A former central Indiana bank manager has been sentenced to three years in prison after she admitted to stealing more than $300,000 from bank customers and a late friend's three children.
According to court documents, Susan Fruits, 46, of Avon, devised two separate fraud schemes. One targeted the inheritance left behind for three children of a friend who had died and the other was stealing from customers at a bank where she worked.
Federal prosecutors say Fruits admitted withdrawing more than $180,000 from customers' Certificate of Deposit accounts while serving as manager of a KeyBank branch in Brownsburg. Between 2017 and 2020, she allegedly took the money without the customers' knowledge by digitally signing for the customers without their authorization then approving the withdrawals using her position as a branch manager.
In 2015, Fruits' close friend died and she was named the guardian for her friend's three children. Fruits was also named the trustee for the children's trust accounts, each of which had more than $50,000 in them. Federal prosecutors say Fruits spent all the money in the children's accounts over the course of eight months.
To hide the evidence, documents say Fruits created and mailed false bank statements that showed the children's accounts still had thousands of dollars in them. However, the accounts had zero dollars left because Fruits had spent all the money.
"It is sad to see someone abuse a position of trust for self-enrichment, especially at the cost of children who have already lost so much," said Acting U.S. Attorney John E. Childress. "Fruits has been brought to justice and the victims will receive what is due to them.”
Between the two schemes, Fruits admitted to stealing more than $315,000. Fruits was ordered to pay over $315,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to bank and mail fraud.
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