Embezzlement case moves forward

IRON MOUNTAIN – A not guilty plea has been entered for a Breitung Township woman accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from the North Side branch of First National Bank & Trust in Iron Mountain.

Josephine Ann Novara, 67, had been scheduled for an arraignment in Dickinson County Circuit Court Monday, but she and her defense attorney Julie LaCost elected to file a waiver of arraignment. As a result, neither was required to appear in court in person.

Judge Mary B. Barglind entered a not guilty plea on Novara’s behalf.

A pre-trial in the matter is scheduled for Aug. 18.

Novara 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