Woman accused of bank fraud sentenced to prison

Woman accused of bank fraud sentenced to prison

(WMC-TV) - She was facing up to 51 months and the judge gave her 51 months, after hearing from dozens who said she ruined their lives and their business.

It was a small group of former co-workers, a gathering just like old times.

Only this time, they're outside the federal building discussing the sentencing of a former friend and coworker.

"She's going to be sitting in jail for four years and three months. I'm pleased," said Former Employee Christy Klink.

In Dec. 2011, Karen Tripp kicked our crew out of her Collierville antique shop after she was indicted for bank fraud.

She's charged with stealing 1.5 million dollars from Seiler-Nabers Construction.

She'd been the bookkeeper for years, investigators said Tripp spent the stolen money on a million dollar mansion, three other houses, cars, lavish vacations and her antique shop.

"She worked with me for 20 years," said victim Mike Nabers.

Mike Nabers owned half the business, it went under shortly after Tripp's arrest.

"It's hard to describe. I wouldn't want it on anybody. Been pretty tough," said Nabers.

Nabers said he's still struggling with the consequences.

Tripp told the judge she never intended to hurt her friends and co-workers, and only did it because of her own financial difficulties.

One-time co-worker Christy Klink didn't buy her allocution.

"It was actually kind of awesome. I mean, the judge saw right through everything that she said - it was financial difficulty - he's like there was no financial difficulty it was all for you," said Klink.

As part of her sentence, Tripp must pay restitution - but those gathered outside the federal building aren't expecting a dime in return for their millions.

"We might see pennies but that'll be it," said Nabers.

Even though Tripp learned her sentencing Friday, she doesn't actually report to prison until a later date.

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