A former vice president of a Massachusetts thrift was indicted last week, on charges of embezzling $100,000.

Linda M. Lopes, a one-time branch manager at Plymouth Savings Bank in Wareham, is accused of hiding a check-writing scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston. During a five-year period that ended in August 1997, Ms. Lopes wrote bank treasurer's checks to herself, deposited them in an account at the branch, and later withdrew the money, federal officials say.

If convicted, Ms. Lopes could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and fined $1 million. She could also be forced to repay the money.

Ms. Lopes could not be located for comment. A spokesman for the $825 million-asset thrift said he could not comment on ongoing litigation.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Boston has prosecuted two additional bank-fraud cases in a little over a year. Last August, John Sacco admitted to stealing almost $200,000 from Monson (Mass.) Savings Bank. Mr. Sacco, a vice president at $87 million-asset Monson, applied for and received loans in the name of family members, then deposited the borrowings in a checking account he had started.

And in July 1998, Jeffrey Sung Tak Ryu pleaded guilty of defrauding Rockland (Mass.) Trust Co. of more than $200,000. Mr. Ryu made false statements on loan applications during 1994 and 1995. -- Louis Whiteman

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