FBI probes ‘unusual’ $850,000 bank transfer

Posted Oct. 28, 2009, at 10:13 p.m.

CAMDEN, Maine — The FBI is investigating the improper transfer of at least $850,000 in Camden National Bank funds by an employee who has since been fired.

Bank spokesperson Diane Norton said the discrepancy was discovered earlier this month when a customer noticed something that appeared “unusual” in his documentation and informed a bank employee.

That employee looked into the matter, determined there was a problem and immediately reported it to a manager and bank security. Bank security quickly identified the employee who was responsible for the transaction, Norton said.

“We believe this is only one employee and that employee has been terminated,” Norton said Wednesday. “Based on what we know, all our customer information and deposits are secure.”

Norton said information about the transactions was immediately reported to the FBI.

“This is an ongoing investigation which the FBI is leading, and we are cooperating with them,” she said. When asked if the transactions had been done by computer, Norton replied that “I really can’t comment on any of the details.”

An attempt Wednesday to reach Gail Marcinkiewicz, spokesperson for the FBI’s Boston office, was unsuccessful.

Camden National Bank president and chief executive officer Gregory Dufour said he found the fact that an employee would allegedly engage in possible criminal behavior disturbing. Dufour said it did not appear the loss would affect the bank and that customer deposits were secure.

“We’re disturbed that an employee would allegedly conduct this kind of fraudulent activity,” Dufour said in a statement. “However, customers should be assured that their information and deposits are safe and secure. While we are unsure of what the loss, if any, will be to the bank at this time, we don’t believe it will materially impact us. No customer will be hurt by what occurred. We remain a strong and well-capitalized organization.”

The bank notified the public of the questionable transactions during its third quarter business summary.

Under the heading “Recent Developments,” the summary noted that, “On October 16, the Company’s security group discovered that a Camden National Bank employee engaged in a series of improper and unauthorized transactions. The Company’s investigation into this matter is ongoing, and no determination has been made as to whether any amounts will be recorded as a loss by the Company. The Company is in discussions with its insurance carrier and aggressively taking steps to recover the funds, including cooperating with law enforcement authorities. To date, transactions involving approximately $850,000 have been identified.”

Camden National Bank has 37 branch locations in Maine across 12 counties, according to its Web site. It has assets of more than $2.3 billion and employs more than 400. It is listed on the Nasdaq exchange with the symbol CAC. Its stock closed at $31.84 a share on Wednesday. As part of holding company Camden National Corp., it is affiliated with two investment companies: Acadia Trust N.A., offering investment management with offices in Portland, Bangor and Ellsworth; and Acadia Financial Consultants.

wgriffin@bangordailynews.net

338-9546

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