A 22-year-old employee was terminated from Synovus in early October after she allegedly stole more than $6,000 from customers, according to testimony Wednesday in Columbus Recorder's Court.
Rolanda Evans, who was hired as a customer care specialist in May, pleaded not guilty to two counts each of identity fraud and theft by taking and one count each of theft by deception and fourth-degree forgery. She was ordered held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail.
Judge Julius Hunter bound the case over to Superior Court.
On. Oct. 5, Synovus representatives at 1137 First Ave. informed them on Oct. 5 that they launched an internal audit in September to address a complaint from a company that has an account with their bank. JL & H Transportation representatives stated that an unauthorized $5,000 credit card cash advance was made through the company account.
"Through that audit it was discovered that Ms. Evans, who was an employee at Synovus, had actually logged on to her credentials through Synovus onto this account and done this line of credit. The money was transferred into a personal account of hers there at Synovus," said Cpl. Crystal Hatcher with the Financial Crimes Unit.
Authorities said the bank also learned that Evans comprised TeligentEMS' account. She allegedly used her position to steal $2,500 from the company and transfer that money to her personal account.
Hatcher said the audit also indicated that she deposited a $1,000 counterfeit check into her account in June, one she indicated that the state of Illinois made out to her.
"After the transactions were transferred to her personal account, she proceeded to do ATM withdrawals and that type of thing to remove the money from the account and use it for private purposes," the financial crimes detective said.
Hatcher said she called Evans in October and told her about the accusations. The defendant allegedly cried and apologized.
"She stated that she was going to take care of paying them back," Evans said. "The next day, her husband called me and said he was the one who had done the transactions. I informed him that I had her on video surveillance making the transactions when she was not working and that that was a lie."
Hatcher said Evans told her that she was out of town, but she would return to town that weekend to turn herself into authorities.
"I went to her residence where she had quickly left the apartment complex," Hatcher testified. "It was obvious that someone left there in a hurry and she had left the state."
Three months later, officials found her in Tampa, Fla. and took her into custody.
Synovus declined to comment on the incident.