Former banker sentenced to less than day for scamming $52,000

A former bank employee was sentenced to less than a day in jail after being found guilty in February in federal court of scamming an older friend out of more than $52,000.

Jolene M. Edwards, 39, of Lock Haven, formerly an employee at Jersey Shore State Bank, was apologetic Friday during sentencing by U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann.

Edwards was found guilty of misappropriating bank funds and three counts of interstate transportation of stolen property and acquitted on two counts of bank fraud.

She took $52,000 from a friend, Tony Arduini, but Assistant Public Defender D. Toni Byrd said her client cared for Arduini from 2010 to 2014, bringing him food, picking up his prescriptions and cleaning the house he shared with his sick and dying mother.

Arduini made Edwards the beneficiary of his will and gave her power of attorney.

Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel argued for jail time of up to 30 months indicating Edwards had violated a position of trust when, instead of investing the $52,222 as she promised, she used the funds for paying off bills.

Brann, however, determined Edwards was apologetic and in 2014 she borrowed money to repay Arduini.

“This case stems from Jolene’s kindness and caring,” Byrd said.

Edwards said she thought Arduini was sincere when he said he wished her to have all of the money.

Brann sentenced Edwards to the short period she spent in the U.S. Marshal’s office after getting arrested and one year of supervised release along with 100 hours of community service.