2 former Ulysses bank employees sentenced to prison for theft

Two former Ulysses bank employees who concocted a scheme to embezzle thousands were sentenced Thursday to five months in federal prison and five months in a halfway house for their crimes.

Amber Gutierrez, 32, and Ashley Cravens, 29, both pleaded guilty to one count of theft from a bank for stealing about $84,200 from Western State Bank between 2008 and July 24, 2010, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said. Gutierrez, who was head teller, embezzled the funds with two other bank employees, and then the women staged a robbery to cover up the crime. Afterward, the trio and another woman embezzled an additional $24,450 from the bank, Grissom said.

Gutierrez and Cravens are both Ulysses residents.

Earlier this month, 60-year-old Linda Wise was sentenced to three months’ probation for her role in the scheme. Hattie Wiginton is scheduled for sentencing April 4.