- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 11, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Three employees of First National Bank of Lawrence County have pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $4 million from the bank.

Court documents show 57-year-old Brenda Montgomery of Walnut Ridge, 57-year-old Cindy Tate of Walnut Ridge and 61-year-old Peggy Sutton of Biggers each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Prosecutors say the three took money from the vault of the bank’s main office in Walnut Ridge for about 10 years, starting in 2005, and because Tate knew in advance of internal audits, they would arrange to temporarily transfer money from other bank branches to hide the theft until a surprise cash count of the vault in 2015 revealed the crime.

Bank officials have said customer deposits are safe. The bank also received a $2.7 million insurance settlement in February.

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