The sentencing hearing for a 40-year-old Warren woman who has admitted to embezzling nearly $750,000 from Camden National Bank is expected to conclude June 28.

The hearing for former longtime loan officer Christina Torres-York began June 23 in U.S. District Court of Portland with Camden National’s chief executive officer detailing the damage done by the ex-employee’s actions over several years.

“She violated our core values,” Chief Executive Officer Gregory Dufour told Judge D. Brock Hornby. “She did significant damage to a community-based organization.”

Dufour said that while it may be popular to consider a bank a large and impersonal entity, Camden National remains a Maine-based independent bank with headquarters on the same street it was founded 136 years ago.

The bank has spent $250,000 in legal expenses trying to correct the problems created by Torres-York’s actions that were first detected in October 2009. He said some customers are still threatening legal action.

At the core of a bank are security, honesty, integrity, and service, Dufour noted, and Camden National feels so strongly about those that they print them on cards and give them to employees to carry with them.

He noted Torres-York was honored in September 2009 by the bank for being such a good employee. Her actions shattered the trust of co-workers, he added.

Dufour said while Torres-York claims to be remorseful, her actions have not met her words.

He asked Judge Hornby to hold her accountable for her actions.

Torres-York faces 33 months in federal prison along with fines and restitution.

Dufour was the only person to speak out during the session dedicated to comments from victims.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Murphy, who is prosecuting the case, said that Camden National lost $714,204 in the scheme and the Maine Contractors and Builders Alliance lost $29,703.

Defense attorney J. Hilary Billings argued that the amount lost by Camden National was less than that purported by the bank and government.

The prosecutor acknowledged that Torres-York diverted $95,714 for her personal use while the remainder was unauthorized loans and extension of credit lines for other customers.

Billings said of the 134 unauthorized transactions made by his client, eight were for herself and went to pay for renovations to her home and to help make mortgage payments on the home at another financial institution.

The transactions were made in more than three dozen different customer accounts.

The defense attorney said Torres-York did not mean for the bank to suffer losses in other transactions.

“She expected those loans would be repaid,” Billings said.

Judge Hornby questioned Billings on his arguments, asking if it was the same as a person who embezzled money to go to the race track, expecting to win and repay the money in the morning.

He contended that the amount owed to the bank by Torres-York would be less if the bank would go after the customers who ended up with net gains from the unauthorized transactions that his client made in their accounts.

Camden National Vice President Dan Swindler testified at the start of the hearing on June 23 that the bank has recovered some of the money paid out and loaned out by Torres-York but there are others that the company has decided not to pursue because these customers had their accounts manipulated by Torres-York. He said some are still threatening lawsuits over those transactions.

Billings questioned, however, how people who end up with a net gain could be damaged and file lawsuits.

Billings noted that the bank could also recover much of the money from its insurance coverage. Swindler noted that the bank is still in negotiations with Progressive Insurance and no determination has yet been made on whether it will cover the losses.

Torres-York remains free on bail. Torres-York entered a guilty plea Jan. 11 to one count of bank embezzlement and misapplication. The offense carries a potential prison term of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million plus restitution. But based on a variety of factors including her cooperation with federal investigators, Torres-York can appeal her prison sentence if it exceeds 33 months.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office stated in its version of events that beginning in April 2007, Torres-York began making unauthorized transfers of funds from various customer accounts by generally issuing a debit memo to one customer’s deposit or loan account, causing the issuance of a cashier’s check payable to the bank. She would use a teller to carry out the transaction and then use another teller to transact a deposit of that cashier’s check into a different customer’s deposit or loan account.

The federal government claims that these transactions were made for the primary purpose of making money available to some customers of the bank outside of normal and required procedures for extensions of loans and other credit. She often restored some or all of the misappropriated money by a later transaction from another account.

She would also transfer money from a customer’s account to allow her to issue a cashier’s check to third parties that were doing work on her Warren home.

At the time she was fired, six customer accounts showed negative balances of more than $700,000.

On Dec. 31, 2010, Torres-York and Kenneth E. York of Warren filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in federal bankruptcy court. The Yorks cited debts of $1.5 million and assets of about $500,000. Creditors listed included Camden National and the Maine Contractors and Builders Alliance Inc.

The embezzlement case first came to light in October 2009 when it came to the bank’s attention that Torres-York had been withdrawing funds from customers’ lines of credit, according to a lawsuit filed in January 2010 by Camden National. She was immediately fired.

On Oct. 19, 2009, the bank discovered a letter from Torres-York that was left in a night depository box. In the letter, according to the lawsuit, she confessed that she “used several lines of credit” and that she was “terribly sorry for the embarrassment [she] caused for Camden National Bank and [her] family.”

“I am relieved that this is finally over as I have struggled for a long time with this and it has caused me to not be able to concentrate on my work,” her letter stated, according to the bank’s lawsuit.

A state judge agreed last year to place a $750,000 lien on Torres-York’s property for Camden National’s claims and an $82,940 lien on behalf of the Maine Contractors and Builders Alliance Inc. That organization, a statewide builders association, filed its own civil lawsuit against Torres-York.

The builders alliance filed a lawsuit also in January in Knox County Superior Court in Rockland against Torres-York, claiming she used her position as the organization’s treasurer and as an employee of Camden National to siphon off $82,940.

The organization had built one home and was well into building another with the assumption that it had sufficient equity in the first structure to complete the second home. That is when the organization learned that Torres-York had taken money from the alliance.

Torres-York served as volunteer treasurer for the Maine Contractors and Builders Alliance for several years until she resigned from the post under threat of removal on Nov. 13, 2009, according to the alliance’s lawsuit.

The bank’s lawsuit described how she told the bank she would like to make partial restitution and said that the ones who scream to get their fees back should get the money from her 401(k) retirement account.

There is $70,283 in her 401K.

“Again I am so sorry it became a mess,” her letter stated, according to the lawsuit. “I will not be in at 8, as I can not hold up my head any longer, ashamed at what has happened and what I have done to so many people that trusted me.”