The U.S. attorney for Northern California charged 28 former bank employees from the San Francisco area with embezzlement of bank funds. U.S. Atty. Michael Yamaguchi said the charges are part of an ongoing program to deter theft and fraud within financial institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jonathan Schmidt, a spokesman for Yamaguchi, said the 28 people charged had allegedly embezzled a total of $115,000 over a year or so. Schmidt noted that there was no allegation of a mass conspiracy to embezzle funds and that the accusations were merely "discrete, individual charges." Eighteen of those charged had worked for San Francisco-based BankAmerica Corp.'s Bank of America unit. Seven of those charged worked for San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co., two worked for Great Western Bank, now part of Seattle-based Washington Mutual Inc., and one worked for Los Angeles-based California Federal Bank. Each defendant faces a possible maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Schmidt said that even though charges were filed Tuesday, it could take several weeks for the former employees to be notified of the charges against them. BankAmerica, Wells Fargo and Washington Mutual had no comment.