Ex-banker gets 5-year sentence for stealing customers’ money

Jail Cell
(WISH photo)

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A former assistant manager at a central Indiana bank has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from depositors’ accounts.

Sixty-five-year-old Diane Renee Bizzell said during Monday’s sentencing that she stole the money from customers at a First Merchants Bank in Muncie after becoming addicted to playing the slot machines at the Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson.

The Muncie woman pleaded guilty in August to seven counts of theft, six counts of identity deception and one count of check fraud.

The Star Press reports a First Merchants official told the Delaware County judge that the cost to the bank and its insurance company exceeded $470,000 in replenishing the victims’ accounts and conducting an investigation of Bizzell’s actions.