EAST ST. LOUIS — A Moro man 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.
The charges stem from a purported bank robbery at Liberty Bank in Bethalto on Dec. 13, 2014. Bank manager Matthew S. Liebheit, 39, of the 100 block of Magnolia Drive, called police to report a bank robbery, indicating that a masked individual forced him into the bank at gunpoint 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 told police he was forced to give the robber more than $200,000 from the bank’s vault.
The investigation revealed Liebheit’s truck was used by the masked individual and a band of $10 bills was found in a search of Liebheit’s truck. Additional investigation showed 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 is scheduled for an initial appearance at 11 a.m. today 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 million and a term of supervised release of not more than five years.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bethalto Police Department. The case is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Reppert.
In a press release Friday, police said customers' accounts at the Bethalto branch were unaffected.
Liberty Bank CEO and President Dale Blachford said the bank will release a statement about the allegations after receiving approval from law enforcement. Blachford said Liebheit is no longer an employee of the bank.