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Credit union employee admits gambling addiction led to theft

By Karen Florin

Publication: theday.com

Published November 08. 2012 4:00PM   Updated November 08. 2012 11:19PM

A 62-year-old woman who worked at a credit union inside Foxwoods Resort Casino admitted to state police that she stole more than $21,000 from her employer and lost it on gambling.

Yolanda T. O'Keefe of Norwich, charged in September with first-degree larceny, made her first appearance this week in the New London court where major crimes are tried.

Superior Court Judge Susan B. Handy appointed public defender M. Fred DeCaprio to represent O'Keefe and continued the case to Nov. 14. The judge on Monday ordered O'Keefe, who is free on a $20,000 bond, to obtain a letter from her current employer indicating the employer is aware of the pending charges.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit prepared by state police Detective Michael Robinson of the Casino Licensing & Operations Unit, the branch manager of the Connecticut Community Credit Union contacted state police after discovering that somebody had replaced $100 bills with $1 bills in stacks of cash in the bank's vault.

Bank officials conducted an audit and discovered that $20,790 was missing from the vault and $810 was missing from O'Keefe's teller drawer, according to the affidavit. As senior teller, O'Keefe supervised the vault operation.

Confronted by Robinson, O'Keefe started crying and admitted that since she started working for the credit union in 1998, she started gambling at the local casinos. She said she became more and more addicted to gambling as she continuously tried to win her money back. She said with her husband unemployed for the past four years, she used gambling as a means to try to make ends meet.

"Mrs. O'Keefe stated that her intent was to win enough money gambling with the intent on replacing the money she took from the bank vault prior to anyone discovering it missing," according to the affidavit.

After losing the money she took from the bank vault, she said she attempted to take out a loan to replace it but was denied based on her past credit history, according to the affidavit.

k.florin@theday.com

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