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Associated Press, Published April 12 2013

Woman convicted of bank fraud sentenced to 3 years

BISMARCK — A former North Dakota bank executive convicted of bilking nearly $1 million from her clients was sentenced Friday to more than three years in prison.

A judge ordered Betty Kolling, 67, a former trust officer at Bank of the West in Dickinson, to serve 41 months on a charge of conspiring to commit bank fraud. Her attorney had asked for home confinement.

Investigators said Kolling stole nearly $800,000 from the trust accounts of five clients over seven years, although prosecutors said a pre-sentence investigation showed losses to be more than $1 million.

Kolling's husband, Walter, 66, who also pleaded guilty to bank fraud, was sentenced Friday to six months of home confinement.

A judge is expected to rule later on how much money the defendants will have to pay back in victims' losses.

Defense attorneys in the case were not immediately available for comment.

Betty Kolling's lawyer, Irv Nodland, said in court documents that his client was manipulated by family members, especially her sister. Nodland said all the money went to the sister and Kolling didn't keep any of it.

Prosecutor Nick Chase said in a sentencing memorandum that the Kollings were driven purely by greed and a twisted belief as to what they were entitled.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.