News and Press Releases

Former Bank Employee Sentenced to Almost Three Years in Prison for Stealing over $600,000 from Customer Accounts

January 24, 2006

Las Vegas, Nev. - A former Wells Fargo Bank store manager has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for stealing $663,861 from customer accounts and converting it to his own use, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

MOTEZ HITO, age 32, of Las Vegas, was sentenced on Monday, January 23, 2006, by U.S. District Judge Robert C. Jones. He pleaded guilty on October 28, 2005, to a Criminal Information charging him with a single felony count of Theft, Embezzlement and Misapplication by a Bank Employee. HITO admitted that between May 7, 2003, and March 3, 2005, while working for Wells Fargo Bank, he took $663,856 from the accounts of several bank customers and manipulated his own personal account with various deposit and debit transactions.

HITO was employed as the store manager at the Wells Fargo Bank Financial Center at 3300 West Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas from December 1998 to March 2005. The monies were stolen from certificate of deposit accounts belonging to elderly customers.

The embezzlement was initially discovered when the daughter of one of the victim customers noticed that several unauthorized withdrawals had been made from her mother's account. Bank investigators conducted an internal investigation and referred the case to the FBI.

HITO must also serve five years of supervised release and pay restitution of $663,861.96 to Wells Fargo Bank. He is prohibited from employment in the banking industry for the next 10 years; must participate in a gambling addiction treatment program; and must not enter, frequent or be involved with any legal or illegal gambling establishment or activity during the period of supervised release.

HITO is currently released on a personal recognizance bond, and must surrender to the federal correctional facility within 60 days of sentencing. This case was investigated by Special Agents with the FBI, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kurt P. Schulke.

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