ASHDOWN — A former Regions bank teller accused of stealing funds from a senior citizen’s account at the Ashdown branch has been charged with felony theft and exploitation.
Abby Layne Parton, 29, came to the attention of Ashdown police in 2018 after the son of an elderly Regions account-holder made a complaint at Regions’ main office in Texarkana, according to a probable-cause affidavit. The victim’s son reported that he spoke to Parton, who regularly assisted his mother, at the Ashdown branch after noticing several questionable cash withdrawals, according to the affidavit.
Parton told the woman’s son that the discrepancies were the result of “copy and paste errors involving her next customer at the bank at that time,” the affidavit said.
The son wasn’t satisfied with Parton’s explanation and took his concerns to the main branch in Texarkana, authorities said.
After her conversation with the woman’s son, Parton made six deposits totaling $2,600 into the woman’s account between May 24, 2018, and June 1, 2018, authorities said. A corporate security investigator for Regions Bank was assigned the case June 1.
Using video surveillance and banking records, the investigator was able to determine that 16 cash withdrawals were made from the victim’s accounts when neither she nor her sons were present at the bank, authorities said. Parton is the Regions employee who made all the suspicious withdrawals, which totaled $4,360, authorities said.
Investigators said they determined that Parton made more than $18,000 in cash deposits to her personal account that were not related to her pay as a teller. Parton was on leave June 6-7, 2018, because of a family member’s illness, and she was on “sick leave” June 8, 2018, authorities said.
On June 11, 2018, an employee of Regions in Ashdown reported that Parton had been interviewing for other jobs while on sick leave and had more interviews “lined up,” authorities said. On June 25, 2018, the Ashdown branch reported that Parton was not at work and that her keys had been left in the night deposit, according to authorities. Parton was “allowed to resign effective June 25, 2018,” the affidavit states.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Al Smith signed off in September 2019 on formal charges of abuse of adults, exploitation and theft of property. The exploitation charge is punishable by five to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000. Theft of property, greater than $1,000 but less than $5,000, is punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Court records show Parton is represented by Texarkana lawyer Jeff Harrelson. The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Charles Yeargan.
Parton is scheduled to appear for a pretrial hearing later this month. She is currently free on a $15,000 commercial bond.
Metro on 04/14/2020