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Embezzler receives 27-month sentence

She stole $279,763 and $24,854 from 2 different banks

A former employee of two Utah banks was sentenced Wednesday to serve more than two years in federal prison for embezzling more than $300,000 over a five-year period.

Laurie O. Ludvigson, 41, was ordered to serve 27 months in prison for stealing $279,763 from the Bank of Ephraim and $24,854 from the Far West Bank between 1999 and 2004.

Ludvigson's attorney pointed out that this was her first criminal offense and that she has taken full responsibility for her actions.

Ludvigson apologized to the court and to the bank. "I want to make it right," she said, vowing to take care of restitution.

She was ordered to pay $279,763 to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insures bank depositors paid out to account holders when the 99-year-old Bank of Ephraim went under in June 2004. She was also ordered to pay $24,854 back to Far West Bank.

According to the FBI, Ludvigson manipulated funds while working at both banks and deposited money into her personal accounts.

FBI agents said Ludvigson's theft came to light during another embezzlement investigation involving the Bank of Ephraim's head cashier, Randy K. McArthur, and his high school friend Dean Johnson, who were charged with stealing $4 million from the institution. Because of limited evidence, the two men were held responsible for stealing $1.6 million of those funds.

McArthur was sentenced in March to serve more than seven years, and Johnson was ordered to serve more than three years.

McArthur admitted to using the money for living expenses and taking frequent gambling trips to Las Vegas with Johnson.

Agents said Ludvigson's theft was not associated with McArthur and Johnson's scheme.