Case advances against accused bank embezzler

IRON MOUNTAIN – A Breitung Township woman accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from the North Side branch of First National Bank & Trust in Iron Mountain was in Dickinson County District Court this morning for a scheduled preliminary examination.

However, 67-year-old Josephine Ann Novara, with her defense attorney Julie LaCost, elected to waive the hearing.

Judge Christopher Ninomiya then bound Novara over to the circuit court level for further proceedings. She will appear for arraignment in Dickinson County Circuit Court in front of Judge Mary B. Barglind on July 21.

Novara will remain free on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

She faces one felony count of embezzlement-financial institutions. If convicted, she could spend up to 20 years in prison.

The charge stems from alleged events that occurred in Iron Mountain between January and mid-June.

According to the criminal complaint in the case, Novara is accused of taking money from her drawer and the vault while working as an employee of First National Bank & Trust.

A bank audit determined that $17,200.50 was missing as a result of Novara’s alleged actions, the complaint stated.

Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is