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Ex-bank teller pleads guilty to embezzling for drugs

BILOXI — A Biloxi woman has pleaded guilty to stealing $80,980 from a bank’s vault while she was employed as a vault teller.

U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis said in a news release that 29-year-old Ashley Ann Keel entered her plea Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Gulfport.

She will be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Louis Guirola Jr. on March 27. She faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

A grand jury indicted her Oct. 16.

Prosecutors say Keel was working at Hancock Bank’s Cedar Lake branch in Biloxi on Aug. 10 when an FBI agent confronted her. She told the agent she didn’t know how much money she had stolen, and blamed the theft on her addiction to oxycodone.

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