Feds Allege Bank Employee Ripped Off Elderly Customers -- and then the bank's vault

May 28, 2011

According to a Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") press release, on May 24, 2011, Brenda Bautista Hurtado, 25, a former employee of U.S. Bank (Arroyo Grande, CA branch) was taken into custody after being named in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on May 20, 2011 that charged her with stealing money while employed in 2010 at the U.S. Bank branch in Arroyo Grande. The indictment alleges that Hurtado stole nearly $100,000 from two elderly customers' accounts and another $10,000 in cash from the bank's vault. Hurtado faces up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million on each count of theft by a bank employee.

NOTE: An Indictment contains mere allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court beyond a reasonable doubt.

It is alleged that Hurtado secretly accessed the computer system of U.S. Bank and changed the contact information for two elderly customers at the bank. Thereafter, Hurtado allegedly closed these accounts and took out cashier's checks for the balance of each account:

  • $50,907 on February 24, 2010 from a customer;
  • $48,163 on February 26, 2010 from a customer.

After one of the victims uncovered the fraud, on June 7, 2010, Hurtado purportedly stole $10,000 in cash from the bank's vault and went to Mexico for several weeks before returning to the United States.

Learn more about elderly victims of financial crimes and regulatory violations