Ex-banker gets 5-year sentence for stealing customers’ money

A former assistant manager at a Muncie bank has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from depositors’ accounts.

Diane Renee Bizzell, 65, said during sentencing Monday that she stole the money from customers at a First Merchants Bank after becoming addicted to playing slot machines at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson.

The Muncie woman pleaded guilty in August to seven counts of theft, six counts of identity deception and one count of check fraud.

The Star Press reported a First Merchants official told the Delaware County judge that the cost to the bank and its insurance company exceeded $470,000 in replenishing the victims’ accounts and conducting an investigation of Bizzell’s actions.

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