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Woman hit with 8 bank fraud counts

Federal grand jury alleges worker theft

– About two months ago, Tower Bank sued Kandi Biggins and her husband, claiming she stole tens of thousands of dollars in an effort to stay in their foreclosed home.

Now a federal grand jury in South Bend has indicted the 43-year-old Spencerville woman on eight counts of bank fraud. And if she’s convicted, the federal government will try to seize the Biggins’ Schlatter Road home, according to court documents.

According to the indictment, Biggins used “false statements and pretenses” to obtain money from Tower Bank, her employer, to pay personal expenses.

In mid-April, Tower Bank sued Kandi and William Biggins, along with Bradford Pepple and IAB Bank as the trust of the Bradford Pepple Roth IRA.

The Allen County lawsuit accuses the Bigginses of the same activities as the federal indictment.

According to court files, a Spencerville home owned by the Bigginses was the subject of a foreclosure lawsuit in April 2012 and formally foreclosed on in May 2012.

In September, the property was sold at a sheriff’s sale to Pepple for a bid of $157,501, court records said.

A few days later, Pepple sued the Bigginses, trying to evict them from the home.

But Tower Bank alleges that the Bigginses came up with money to repurchase their home the same day the eviction case was scheduled for hearing – specifically a check for $175,000 to IAB Financial on Dec. 18 for a down payment.

The couple paid the money, and the eviction case was dismissed, according to court documents.

According to Tower Bank, Kandi Biggins was an employee at the bank and used that position to obtain cashier’s checks to misappropriate the money used to put a down payment on the home, pay the closing costs and other items, according to court documents.

The status of the civil case was unavailable Thursday afternoon.

A message left at the couple’s home was not returned Thursday evening.

rgreen@jg.net

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