PORTLAND — A former bank employee accused of embezzling more than $14,500 from TD Bank in Auburn in 2010 pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to a charge of bank theft.

Tasha Hilts, 28, of Auburn, waived the indictment process and pleaded guilty at her arraignment before Judge Nancy Torresen. Hilts is currently free on bail, but faces a penalty of up to 30 years in federal prison. She is scheduled for sentencing on April 3.

While employed by the TD Bank branch at Great Falls Plaza, Hilts used her employee sign-in and password sometime between Aug. 13 and Sept. 2, 2010, to manipulate her savings account to give herself a provisional credit, according to a criminal complaint by FBI Agent Paul Pritchard.

TD Bank discovered on Sept. 2, 2010, that Hilts had overdrafted her account by more than $23,000 for a total calculated loss of nearly $14,535, according to the criminal complaint.

TD Bank representatives confronted Hilts on Sept. 3, and she admitted she manipulated her account balance to shop for clothes and furnishings for her new apartment. She was fired at the end of that interview, the complaint states.

Staff Writer Scott Dolan can be contacted at: 791-6304 or at: sdolan@[email protected]