The former president of a small-town central Illinois bank was sentenced to 2½ years in prison for embezzlement.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports 66-year-old Bryson John Russell of Lincoln was also ordered to pay more than $560,000 in restitution during Thursday's sentencing hearing.

Russell started working at Hartsburg State Bank in Logan County in 1966 and became bank president in 1989. Investigators say he began stealing money from the bank three years later. He admitted taking the money to pay for personal expenses. Officials say Russell took out loans in the names of bank customers and relatives.

Federal officials say the bank's total loss was between $376,000 and about $562,000.

Hartsburg is about 35 miles south of Peoria. It has a population of 314.

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