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Feds lay out case against Liberty Bank manager charged in faked robbery

From Illinois Business Journal news services

EAST ST. LOUIS – Matthew S. Liebheit, 39, of Moro, was charged Friday with a three-count complaint charging him with two counts of theft, embezzlement or misapplication by a bank officer or employee, and one count of false bank entries.

According to a release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, the charges stem from a purported bank robbery at Liberty Bank in Bethalto on Dec. 13. Liebheit, a bank manager at Liberty Bank, called police to report a bank robbery, indicating that a masked individual forced him into the bank at gun point prior to the bank opening. He gave a description of the suspect’s vehicle as being a tan station wagon or crossover style vehicle. He stated that he was forced to give that individual over $200,000 from the bank’s vault.

The office said that further investigation revealed that Liebheit’s truck was used by the masked individual and a band of ten dollar bills was found in a search of Liebheit’s truck. Additional investigation showed that Liebheit had allegedly altered withdrawal documents from a Liberty Bank customer’s account to reflect a larger than intended withdrawal from that customer’s account. The day before the purported robbery, Liebheit allegedly falsified documentation to show a substantial deposit to that customer’s account.

Liebheit was scheduled for an initial appearance on the complaint Monday in federal court in East St. Louis.

If convicted, Liebheit faces a term in federal prison of not more than 30 years, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and a term of supervised release of not more than five years.

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