Last updated: September 24. 2013 10:51PM - 1049 Views
By - jrunions@civitasmedia.com



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The Tazewell, Tenn., woman who pleaded guilty in June of embezzling approximately $83,000 from the New Tazewell branch of Home Federal Bank was in Claiborne Criminal Court Monday for her sentencing hearing.


Jacqueline Nicole Bolden, 35, was sentenced by Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton to a split confinement of eight years supervised probation with 50 days confinement.


Bolden will serve her jail time during 25 consecutive weekends, beginning Oct. 11.


Sexton also ordered Bolden to serve one day per month community service for the first three years of her probation “in an effort to give back some of what was taken.”


Bolden, who had been with Home Federal Bank for 11 years, was indicted in April and later entered a guilty plea to more than 20 fraudulent transactions occurring over a two-year period which began in 2010.


Assistant District Attorney General Jared Effler said in his opening remarks Bolden had “preyed upon” two bank customers, “one an elderly widow she thought never monitored her accounts.”


Home Federal Bank President and CEO Alex Cook said during the sentencing hearing Bolden’s actions had been “costly to our reputation” that had been carefully built since the bank’s opening in 1920.


Defense attorney Robert Kurtz said Bolden made immediate arrangements for restitution when bank officials confronted her of the crimes in December 2012.


She surrendered her 401(K) retirement plan as a portion of the restitution, he said.


During her plea agreement in June, Bolden also forfeited $40,000 of her cash bond as partial restitution, leaving roughly $50,000 left to be paid from the initial $140,336.23 in court costs and fines.


In her defense, Bolden said she had embezzled the funds to “pay my bills.”


She said her son, who is an insulin dependent diabetic, needed constant care and her husband had personal issues that prevented his contributing to the family finances.


“I want Alex (Cook) to know, I am sorry for taking advantage of my position at the bank,” said Bolden.


As part of her plea agreement, Bowden signed an FDIC document agreeing to never seek employment within the banking industry.


Reach Jan Runions at jrunions@civitasmedia.com or 423-626-3222.

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