HAPO worker charged with major theft from mobile banking ATM van (Google street view)
HAPO worker charged with major theft from mobile banking ATM van (Google street view)

Court documents indicate the worker allegedly stole at least $75,000 from the credit union.

A worker who helped create a mobile banking-ATM outreach program charged

Court papers recently filed, as well as information from the Tri-City Herald, indicate a HAPO Community Credit Union worker allegedly stole at least $75K from their mobile banking unit ATM.

Beginning a  few years ago, you may recall seeing the large black and gold HAPO van at various public events, including the Benton Franklin Fair. The large converted van had several workers who could perform banking transactions for members, and it also housed an ATM.  It was part of a mobile outreach program that 40-year-old Meaghan Brooks had helped create.

Now the woman is facing charges in Benton County Superior Court that she allegedly tampered with the machine to allow her to steal thousands of dollars.

An investigation began in January of this year when an audit showed evidence the machine had been tampered with, allowing for withdrawals to be made without necessarily triggering the machine's record-keeping programs. Brooks was responsible for filling and maintaining the machine prior to it being used for public events, but an investigation showed she repeatedly did it without another worker present, which violates HAPO and banking policies.

Apparently, the power cables had been disconnected which made the machine appear as if it worked, but it would process transactions.

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According to the Herald, at least seven thefts occurred, and she turned in a letter of resignation three days after being told about the investigation on January 28th. Court records indicate Brooks admitted to taking the money when she was confronted.

The charges she is facing are 1st Degree Theft with a Major Economic Offense. This added part will likely allow (if she is found guilty) an expanded sentencing range.

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