Former Synovus employee, ex-husband, defrauded bank

A former married couple admitted Thursday that their scheme of selling Synovus' computer equipment to a pawn shop cost the bank close to $240,000.

Patricia Gayle Alexander, 41, and Douglas Brent Alexander, 38, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bank fraud before U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land. Each could face 30 years in prison on the bank fraud charge and five years on the conspiracy count.

Authorities said Patricia Alexander, who worked as a project administrator for Synovus Financial Corp. from 1998 until her termination in November 2005, used bank funds between November 2003 and July 2005 to buy computer equipment that the company didn't need. When employees gave her requisition orders for equipment, she would add orders for computer memory, Flanagan said. She then had that memory delivered to her, and she handed it over to Douglas Alexander.

He, in turn, gave it to a friend who ran a pawn shop. The three then split the money made from the equipment's sale.

The bank discovered the fraud through internal procedures.

Douglas Alexander made a written plea agreement with the prosecution, which states he is responsible for only $147,054 of the $237,876 the bank lost. Flanagan told Land that Douglas Alexander isn't responsible for all the equipment taken, because his ex-wife continued the fraud after their divorce.

Patricia Alexander has no written agreement and chose to plead cold.

Both remain out on bond pending their sentencing.