OAKLAND -- A former president of the Montclair Village Association and respected community banker was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday after taking a plea deal in which she admitted stealing more than $2 million from customers at two Montclair banks.
Linda Foss, 62, wore a red jail jumpsuit and sobbed during the sentencing in Alameda County Superior Court, where she was also ordered to pay $2.4 million in restitution.
Foss stole the money while working at US Bank and First Republic Bank in Montclair Village. She was also president of the Montclair Village Association and routinely hosted association meetings at the bank branches.
Foss considered her clients to be friends and "is extremely sorry for what she did and wrote a heartfelt letter to the court saying she realizes the harm she's done to her friends," Mark Vermeulen, her attorney, said after Monday's sentencing.
Vermeulen said Foss "is very emotional and being in custody has had a huge impact on her."
Foss began working at US Bank in 1983 and took a job at First Republic Bank earlier this year.
She was originally charged with 20 felonies but pleaded guilty in August to five counts of stealing from an elder, two counts of grand theft and one count of money laundering.
Prosecutors said Foss began stealing money in 2010 when she was at US Bank and also stole from customers after she moved to First Republic Bank. Investigators identified 15 victims.
Foss was caught after a wealth manager noticed one of his elderly clients had a bank statement that appeared altered.
Although Foss agreed to a 12-year prison term in August, her attorney argued Monday that she should receive a lighter sentence because Alameda County prosecutors had agreed to a shorter sentence in a similar case.
But Judge Paul Delucchi said the sentence was appropriate because Foss targeted multiple victims, including the elderly.
The judge cited "the initial shock and stress of the victims losing their savings and believing that they can't start over at this stage of their lives."
Vermeulen noted that the banks have already repaid the victims and the restitution from Foss will go toward reimbursing those institutions.
Wire services contributed to this report.