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July 20--  A former loan assistant at Montgomery Bank and Trust pled guilty to embezzlement Wednesday morning in U.S. District Court in Dublin.

Forty-six-year old Janice Knowles of Uvalda admitted to stealing money from the Commerce Drive branch of the bank during a three-year period from 2005 to 2008. 

An FBI agent testified the thefts came to light in 2008 when a bank customer questioned his account balance which prompted an internal bank investigation.  The government claims Knowles pilfered 37 accounts for an estimated $160,000. 

Knowles will be sentenced at a later date by U.S. District Judge Dudley Bowen, Jr.  The maximum sentence is 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, however, the U.S. Attorney is recommending a reduced sentence due to Knowle's cooperation with investigators.

U.S. Attorney David Stewart says sentencing should occur within the next 90 days.