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Former bank manager pleads guilty to embezzling funds to buy house

A Clearfield man sent to federal prison seven years ago for sex trafficking is under arrest again for similar charges. Stock image

SALT LAKE CITY — The former manager of a Zions Bank in Bountiful has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $500,000 from a customer to buy a house.

Daniel Scott Frischknecht, 33, of Bountiful, entered the plea Wednesday in federal court.

According to court documents filed for his plea agreement, Frischknecht transferred $70,000 on Feb. 9, 2017, and $495,591 on May 8, 2017, for a total of $565,591, using a third-party line of credit.

"I concealed the second transaction with a general ledger entry and deposited the money in my personal Mountain American Credit Union account for personal use. Specifically, I caused $495,591.41 to be wired to a title company for the purchase of a new home for myself," Frischknecht acknowledged in court documents.

In a lawsuit filed by Zions Bank against Frischknecht and his wife in 2017, he falsely said he had the OK from the customer to withdraw the money, according to court documents. He "also attempted to conceal the embezzlement by issuing a provisional credit against the line of credit and generating false and misleading documents," according to court records.

The account Frischknecht embezzled from was an employment agency, according to court records.

Frischknecht told the chief financial officer of the agency "that Zions Bank would be conducting 'tests' to ensure that its customers were paying attention to potential fraudulent activity on their accounts. Frischknecht informed (the CFO) that, as part of these tests, Zion's Bank would transfer funds out of a customer’s account, but would eventually transfer it back into the account. Frischknecht told (the CFO) not to share this information with anyone," court records state.

Frischknecht, who had worked at the bank since 2004, was fired in June.

When he is sentenced for money laundering on April 25, Frischknecht faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.