Bank teller pleads guilty in theft from customers

A bank teller accused of stealing from the CD accounts of mostly elderly customers has pleaded guilty to bank fraud. Federal prosecutors said Michelle Laudato, 35, of Farmington pleaded guilty Tuesday in US district court in Hartford. Prosecutors said Laudato used her position at a Webster Bank branch in Bristol to steal more than $178,000 from the accounts of at least 18 customers between July 2009 and June 2010. Most of the victims were in their 80s and 90s. Laudato was accused of withdrawing money from CD accounts to replace funds she had taken from others and taking the money in increments of $10,000 or less to avoid transaction reporting requirements.