Ex-Macon teller pleads guilty in embezzlement

A former head bank teller at MidSouth Community Federal Credit Union in Macon pleaded guilty Monday afternoon to embezzlement and falsifying credit union records.

Lisa R. Cox, 48, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to embezzling $624,608 from the credit union from 2001 to 2007 and using the money to gamble, take European vacations and make car payments, among other expenses, authorities said.

Federal prosecutors said she took money from teller drawers and the vault.

To cover her tracks, she made false entries in various documents, including vault and teller drawer records, Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry J. Fox Jr. said in court. On one occasion, Cox made an entry stating that the vault contained more than $500,000 in nickels, when she knew it did not.

Cox had worked for the credit union for 17 years, most recently at the Mercer University Drive branch.

Her duties included supervising other tellers, ordering currency from the Federal Reserve and making entries on teller drawer balance sheets and the vault general ledger.

A surprise bank audit in 2007 uncovered missing money. Cox subsequently confessed to FBI agents and admitted that she had embezzled money.

The charges against Cox carry up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for each offense, Fox said.

Cox said little in court and stood stoically as officials asked her questions and explained details of the case.

She was released pending sentencing on the condition that she surrender her passport and not leave the state of Georgia.

Her attorney, Catherine Leek, did not want to comment after the plea hearing.

“I’m reserving my comments for sentencing,” Leek said in court.

Judge Marc Treadwell will likely issue a sentence within the next 60 to 90 days after a background report on Cox, according to court officials.