National Penn Bank has sued a former employee and eight relatives for the $4.5 million that the bank claims was "wrongfully taken."

The bank terminated the unidentified employee on Tuesday, Dec. 2, after it discovered accounting irregularities in the former employee's bookkeeping. After discovering the problem, National Penn commissioned an independent accounting firm to help identify the irregularities with the help of computer-assisted audit and financial control programs.

The bank said that none of its other employees appear to have known about or participated in any of the accounting irregularities. National Penn has notified banking regulators and intends to pursue remedies, including insurance recoveries.

The employee was a member of the bank's loan operations department, according to spokesperson Cathy Bower. No arrest has been made yet, but the FBI is involved. "We're still continuing to investigate," said Bower. "We hired outside legal counsel and forensic accountants to help us in the investigation. We do want to emphasize that no customers were affected and no services were impacted."

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