Former Joplin bank branch manager pleads guilty to embezzlement

Jeff Lehr, The Joplin Globe, Mo.
·1 min read

Feb. 27—A former manager of a Guaranty Bank branch in Joplin has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $158,000 from her employer over a six-month period.

Kendra E. Richardson, 44, who in July of last year was sent a target letter by the U.S. attorney's office in connection with the crime, waived formal indictment on the charge and pleaded guilty to embezzlement at a hearing Thursday in federal court in Springfield.

Her plea agreement with the U.S. attorney's office in Springfield states that she was a manager for a Guaranty Bank branch in Joplin when she embezzled $158,154.45 between June and December 2018.

According to the plea agreement, she was able to conceal the theft through her control of regular audits of the currency in the bank's vault and her misrepresentation of the true amounts present there at various times.

The document further states that she "used a large portion of the embezzled money for gambling."

The plea agreement contains an admission of the defendant that she owes the bank restitution of the full amount that she is accused of having taken.

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.