Ship's Purser Convicted of Embezzlement
NORFOLK, Va. – Ismael Cuario Estrada, 66, was convicted today of embezzlement, after a four-day jury trial.
Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Charles T. May Jr., the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Acting Executive Assistant Director for Atlantic Operations, made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by Senior United States District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr.
Estrada faces a maximum penalty of ten years and a fine of $250,000.00 when he is sentenced on June 25, 2014.
Estrada was indicted on November 6, 2013. According to court records and the evidence presented at trial, Estrada is a retired Navy enlisted sailor who joined the Military Sealift Command (MSC) as a ship’s purser. In late 2006, he became a crewman on the USNS Arctic and remained there until March 30, 2013. In the early part of 2013, Estrada was ordered to become the purser on another USNS ship, the Laramie, whose purser was two months past his time limit on board. Estrada attempted to remain on the Arctic, but was ordered to leave for the Laramie. Contrary to the Captain’s orders, Estrada did not do the normal cash verification and placement of the ship’s money in the bank. Instead, he only did the cash verification and left the money in the ship’s vault. A cash verification on April 30, 2013 found that approximately $350,118 was missing from the $691,000 that should have been in the safe in the purser’s office, based on a cash verification that had been performed a month earlier. Estrada was then ordered off the Laramie and returned to Norfolk where he was eventually arrested and indicted for embezzlement.
This case was investigated by Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Assistant United States Attorney Steve Haynie and Special Assistant United States Attorney Christopher George are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.