Loan officer accused of $1 million fraud to plead guilty

Accused allegedly forged customer names to get loans while working at Sylvan Lake bank

A loan officer accused of stealing more than $1 million from a Sylvan Lake bank is expected to plead guilty.

Defence lawyer Maurice Collard said in Red Deer provincial court Tuesday that Sarah Miles Brouilette will plead guilty when she returns to court Jan. 7.

Brouilette is facing charges of fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000 and two counts each of possession of property obtained by crime and possession of the proceeds of crime.

Specialized Crown prosecutor Shelley Smith said outside court that the charge or charges Brouilette will plead guilty to has not yet been finalized.

The Red Deer woman, who was 38 when RCMP announced the charges last June, worked at ATB Financial in Sylvan Lake, where it is alleged she obtained fraudulent loans worth $1,148,020.

Sylvan Lake RCMP began their investigation in August 2017, after receiving a report from ATB alleging that an employee had forged a customer’s signature and obtained a loan.

Red Deer RCMP’s fraud unit took over the file and worked closely with ATB corporate investigations to trace a series of fraudulent transactions.

It is alleged that Brouilette used the personal information of clients and others known to her to obtain fraudulent loans.

She was fired when the allegations came to light. None of the alleged victims lost any money.

Collard told Judge Jim Hunter that this was a “significant file” with large amounts of disclosure, the information and evidence Crown prosecutors would rely on to make their case.

“My client understands that things need to progress,” said Collard.

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