A former Whitaker Bank president admitted in federal court on Wednesday that he embezzled money from the bank.
Thomas Hinkebein, 59, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement by a bank officer before U.S. District Chief Judge Danny C. Reeves.
Hinkebein admitted that, between Jan. 12, 2016, and Aug. 13, 2018, while he was president of Whitaker Bank, he willfully misapplied assets of the bank. Specifically, he admitted stealing golf carts and other property of Andover Country Club, an asset owned by Whitaker Bank, and seeking reimbursement from Whitaker Bank for a variety of personal expenses, including cellphone service, gym memberships, fuel purchases, vehicle repairs, technology purchases for his family members, shipping expenses and landscaping at his home. To hide the personal nature of these expenses, he falsely reported many of the expenses to Whitaker Bank to make them appear to be legitimate work expenses, the prosecutor said in a press release.
Hinkebein was charged by way of "information," waiving his right to indictment by a grand jury.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate K. Smith was the prosecutor in the case.
Hinkebein is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 4. He faces up to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court, after its consideration of the U.S. sentencing guidelines and the applicable federal statutes, according to the press release.