Bank manager charged with theft

A former Rogue River bank branch manager was arrested on a theft charge linked to a suspected check kiting scheme that officials allege juggled approximately $72,000.

Leslie Dea Beed, 38, of the 15000 block of Hoerster Lane, Rogue River, turned herself in Tuesday, Rogue River Police Chief Ken Lewis said. She was cited and released on a first-degree theft charge.

Lewis had investigated Beed for about a month at the request of her former employer, Evergreen Federal Bank. Beed had worked for the Grants Pass-based bank's Rogue River branch from late July 2008 until mid-January 2009, when she was fired, Lewis said.

Investigators alleged that Beed cashed a steady string of personal checks drawn on her account at another local bank at the Rogue River Evergreen branch. Although the total amount she withdrew from her own account exceeded that account's balance, she took advantage of the banks' processing time to use the money for several days before redepositing cash to cover earlier checks, they said.

Although the total value of the checks that churned through Beed's account over six months was about $72,000, she was overdrawn by $4,425 when her scheme was discovered and collapsed in January, Lewis said. The checks she kited ranged in value from $40 to $1,300, he said.

Investigators haven't determined what she was using the money for, Lewis said.

— Anita Burke

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