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April 15, 2011

FORMER BANK EMPLOYEE CONVICTED OF EMBEZZLING BANK FUNDS

(McALLEN, Texas) – The former supervisor of the electronic marketing department of a local bank has been convicted of embezzling bank funds, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Lisa Rodriguez, 41, of McAllen, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement by a bank employee before Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa at a hearing this afternoon. Chief Judge Hinojosa scheduled sentencing for July 27, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. Rodriguez, who was indicted in December 2010, faces up to 30 years in federal prison without parole and a $1 million fine for the embezzlement conviction. 

According to information presented in court, Rodriguez was formerly employed by First National Bank (FNB) as a supervisor in the electronic marketing department with duties that included, among other things, overseeing the collection and processing of customer debit cards that were returned in the mail to FNB as undeliverable. Rodriguez was similarly responsible for the corresponding Personal Identification Number (PIN) information returned as undeliverable. Upon receiving the returned debit cards and corresponding PINs, FNB protocol called for Rodriguez and other personnel in the electronic marketing department to log the debit cards and PINs into FNB’s computer system.

At today’s hearing, Rodriguez admitted that, in April 2010, she used debit cards and PINs that had been returned as undeliverable to conduct numerous unauthorized debit transactions including cash withdrawals at ATMs in McAllen, Edinburg and San Antonio. Rodriguez attempted to conceal her embezzlement by failing to log the misappropriated debit cards and PINs into FNB’s computer system upon receiving them at the bank. Following numerous customer complaints, FNB identified more than $50,000 in unauthorized transactions related to the undeliverable debit cards and PINs.

Rodriguez has been permitted to remain on bond pending her sentencing hearing. 

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Gregory S. Saikin is prosecuting the case.

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