Banker Accused Of Stealing $2 Million From Elderly Customers — At Two Different Banks

Remember that Wells Fargo employee charged with defrauding a 90-year-old customer out of $10,000? That’s amateur hour compared to the Oakland woman accused of not only stealing around $2 million from bank customers — but doing it at two different banks.

The former employee of U.S. Bank and, more recently, First America Bank, has charged with 20 felony counts, including grand theft, money laundering and elder financial abuse over allegations that go back three years.

Authorities believe that in May 2010, the banker began embezzling money from elderly customers at U.S. Bank. It apparently went unnoticed until early 2013, when a wealth manager at the bank noticed that a customer’s statement had been altered.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office investigated and found that the value of one customer’s CD had withered, from more than $972,000 to about $353,000.

The banker told investigators that this customer had used that money to repay another customer for a personal loan, but the CD-holder said that was simply not true and the two customers didn’t even know each other. The suspect also allegedly changed both of these customers’ mailing addresses to the U.S. Bank branch address.

The bank dismissed her in March, but she quickly landed a gig as branch manager at First Republic, where she is accused of stealing $164,000 from an elderly customer to cover up a theft from her U.S. Bank days — and then allegedly stole another $164,000 to conceal that theft.

She is also accused of stealing more than $42,000 from another customer, who happened to be a long-time friend of the suspect, and $473,000 from that customer’s 83-year-old mother-in-law.

The banker is being held on $1.6 million bail.

East Bay banker in jail after swindling multiple customers [KTVU]
Prominent Oakland banker charged in thefts [SF Chronicle]
Oakland: Montclair banker charged with stealing $2 million from elderly clients [Contra Costa Times]