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Former Tarpon Bank of America employee stole $200,000 from elderly customers, police say

TARPON SPRINGS — A Bank of America employee stole $200,000 from elderly customers and that may not be all she took, authorities say.

Jennifer Wise Trembath, who was an account representative with the authority to open and service accounts, was arrested Wednesday at her New Port Richey home and charged with two counts of exploitation of the elderly.

The arrest was the first major coup in an ongoing investigation that may include accomplices, more victims and more fraud, authorities said.

Security officials at the bank, which is at 901 E Tarpon Ave., reported their suspicions about Trembath to police earlier this month, Capt. Jeffrey P. Young said.

So far, Tarpon police said, investigators have discovered that:

• Trembath's deceit began in November 2009.

• She forged internal forms.

• She took money from the accounts of two people over the age of 70.

Police say she didn't deplete the accounts, but she took out different amounts at a time and deposited the money in a business account that she created.

Detective Sgt. Michael Trill would not name the business, which has the same address as Trembath's Fort Peck Road home.

"There may be another individual involved," he said. "We're continuing the investigation to see if there were more moneys stolen from these people as well as other victims."

Police don't know why Trembath, 24, defrauded customers out of thousands.

"I don't have any information (as to) whether she made any statements at this point," Trill said.

Records show that her husband recently filed for divorce.

And a Bank of America spokeswoman said she is no longer employed at the company.

"The safety and security of our customers' accounts is a top priority," Christina Toth said. "We take allegations of fraud very seriously, and we are working with our customers and law enforcement on this matter."

Trembath is in custody at the Pasco County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Rodney Thrash can be reached at rthrash@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4167.

Former Tarpon Bank of America employee stole $200,000 from elderly customers, police say 09/15/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:25pm]
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