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Husband Arrested, Charged in Bank Robbery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2009

Springfield, Ill. – The husband of a Virden, Illinois woman who has pleaded guilty to armed bank robbery has been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit bank robbery and armed bank robbery. Dale Giardina, 37, of Virden, was arrested yesterday, August 11, 2009. He appeared in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore who ordered that he remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The complaint charges Dale Giardina with conspiracy and armed bank robbery of the United Community Bank in Divernon on March 27, 2009. Dale’s wife, Skipper S. Giardina, 36, also of Virden, Illinois, entered a plea of guilty yesterday to the armed bank robbery.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, Dale is employed at City, Water, Light and Power in Springfield, Illinois as a ‘CAD’ operator and has access to sophisticated computer equipment and software. Based on a forensic review of Dale Giardina’s computer hard drive and the CWLP network server, the affidavit alleges that on or about December 23, 2008, Dale Giardina created a license plate image to cover the real license plate of the vehicle driven by Skipper Giardina on March 27, 2008.

The affidavit further alleges that Skipper and Dale were connected by cell phone during the course of the UCB robbery, which allegedly occurred at approximately 8:33 a.m. on March 27, 2009. Following the robbery, the affidavit alleges the two met for breakfast at Myra’s Homestyle Restaurant, located at I-55 exit number 82 in Divernon, Illinois.

Skipper Giardina , who was indicted on May 6, 2009, pled guilty to one count of armed bank robbery without entering into a plea agreement with the government. Skipper admitted that on March 27, 2009, at approximately 8:33 a.m., she entered the UCB branch at 200 Reichert Road in Divernon and walked to a teller window. Skipper announced she was making a withdrawal and when the teller reached for a withdrawal form, Skipper pulled a black handgun from her bag and placed it on the counter, pointing it at the teller. Skipper then demanded and received money from a second teller. Skipper further admitted she produced a white plastic pipe with batteries taped to the top along with some type of electric circuit board. She told the tellers the device was a bomb and warned them to stay at least 50 feet away from it or she would set it off. She then walked out of the bank and got into a grey Chevrolet vehicle with a license plate number which was observed and reported to law enforcement authorities.

Skipper Giardina is scheduled to be sentenced on December 7, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Jeanne E. Scott. Giardina faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. She remains detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

If convicted, Dale Giardina faces maximum statutory penalties of 25 years imprisonment for armed bank robbery and five years for conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the Illinois Secretary of State and CWLP. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Hansen is prosecuting the cases.

Members of the public are reminded that a complaint is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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