WELLS — A former banker is accused of stealing over $74,000 from five customers at a Wells bank.

Michael Donald Anderson, 44, of Wells, was charged with felony counts of theft, identity theft and check forgery Tuesday in Faribault County District Court.

A customer at CCFBank in Wells reported a fraudulent withdrawal in early 2019. The woman said she had authorized a withdrawal of $1,000 but $2,000 was withdrawn from her line of credit, according to a court complaint.

That led the bank to hire an independent investigator who allegedly found Anderson had made 17 more fraudulent withdrawals in 2018.

In some instances Anderson allegedly withdrew more than customers requested from their accounts and pocketed the difference. Other times Anderson allegedly made withdrawals that had not been authorized by the account holder in any amount.

“On each of the 18 occasions, Anderson made cash deposits into his personal accounts in amounts nearly equal to the excess cash withdrawals,” the charging complaint says. “Or he utilized unauthorized cashiers checks drawn from the victims’ accounts to pay off personal loan accounts.”

From one customer Anderson allegedly stole nearly $67,000. From four other customers he allegedly took between $1,000 and $2,800.

The customers were all refunded, CCF Bank President and CEO Stephen Bianchi told The Free Press. Anderson was no longer working at the bank when it launched the investigation, he said.

The bank turned the investigation’s findings over to police.

“We’ve done everything in our power to address the matter,” Bianchi said.

Anderson admitted to a police investigator he had stolen funds, the charges allege. But he reportedly claimed he had taken only about $24,000 from three customers.

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