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EMPLOYEE OF CENTRAL COAST BANK ADMITS STEALING NEARLY $110,000 – MOSTLY FROM ACCOUNTS OF TWO OCTOGENARIANS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2011

LOS ANGELES – An Arroyo Grande woman has pleaded guilty to federal charges of stealing nearly $110,000 from U.S. Bank while she was employed at its Arroyo Grande branch.

Brenda Bautista Hurtado, 25, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of theft by a bank employee, a federal felony offense that carries a statutory maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison.

In a plea agreement filed in United States District Court, Hurtado specifically admitted that she stole nearly $100,000 from two customers’ accounts, as well as another $10,000 in cash from the bank’s vault.

The investigation in this case revealed that Hurtado secretly accessed U.S. Bank’s computer system and changed the contact information for the accounts of two elderly customers at the bank. After changing their contact information, Hurtado then allegedly closed these accounts and took out cashier’s checks for the balance of each account.

When one of the customers came to the bank and learned that his account had been closed, Hurtado went into the bank’s vault and took $10,000 in cash. Hurtado then went to Mexico for several weeks before returning to the United States. She was arrested in May.

Hurtado is scheduled to be sentenced on November 21 by United States District Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen.

The case against Hurtado is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Release No. 11-121

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