A former Ketchum bank teller was sentenced Monday to 28 days in jail for stealing about $9,000 from customer accounts.
Kimberly Christman, 34, was also placed on probation for four years, ordered to pay restitution of $9,000 and given a withheld judgment, a provision that allows a felony conviction to be removed from her record upon successful completion of probation.
Formerly of Hailey, Christman now lives in Twin Falls. Blaine County 5th District Court Judge Robert Elgee allowed Christman to serve her time in the Twin Falls County Jail and ordered her to report there on March 11.
Christman pleaded guilty to the felony crime of grand theft in December. In exchange for her guilty plea, a second felony charge of forgery was dismissed.
Christman was charged with the crimes in May following an investigation by Ketchum police. She was not arrested but was instead served with a felony summons.
Police Chief Steve Harkins said Christman withdrew money from customer accounts on eight occasions at Bank of the West where she was employed as a teller. He said the thefts occurred from October 2010 through March 2011. An investigation was started after bank officials discovered the missing money and notified police in December 2011.
In court Monday, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback said the thefts occurred when Christman was suffering emotional distress.
“At the time, she was in a difficult marriage, there was illness in the family and financial difficulties,” Fredback said. “She may have needed the money, but when you’re working at a bank you’re in a position of trust. What she did was wrong and there’s no excuse for it.”
Fredback recommended a jail sentence of up to six months.
“I think it’s important that a punishment be included in the sentence,” he said. “I think it’s important for the community to see that.”
Christman was represented by Twin Falls attorney Joseph Rockstahl.
“I don’t think she’s a criminal,” Rockstahl said. “She did this one thing out of desperation and she feels remorse for it.”
Terry Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org