LOS ANGELES – A former Dunbar Armored Inc. employee was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison for orchestrating the theft of nearly $300,000 in cash out of Dunbar’s storage facility in Vernon.
Eric Miranda, 39, of East Los Angeles, was sentenced by United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee, who also ordered him to pay $279,369 in restitution.
Miranda pleaded guilty in March 2019 to one count of conspiracy to commit bank theft and three counts of bank theft.
At the time of the theft, Miranda was a Dunbar Armored supervisor with access privilege to company vaults. He stole cash from the Dunbar vault by using “dummy” stacks of $100 bills that he switched out for real stacks of $100,000. First, Miranda created “dummy” stacks of $100,000 by taking hundreds of $1 bills and sandwiching them between $100 bills – in order to make them appear to be stacks of $100 bills totaling $100,000.
He then smuggled the “dummy” stacks into the Dunbar vault, where he and his co-conspirator, Monique Castruita, 36, of Maywood, switched them for real stacks of $100,000. Miranda and Castruita then marked the dummy stacks to ensure they were not placed into circulation.
Finally, Miranda smuggled the real stacks of money out of the vault room by hiding it in a postal box. On three occasions between October 2017 and January 2018, Miranda smuggled a total of approximately $300,000 out of the Dunbar facility.
In March 2018, defendant’s scheme was finally exposed when a Dunbar employee discovered 19 empty money straps in the trash can of a women’s restroom. Ultimately, the loss to Dunbar totaled $279,369.
Castruita pleaded guilty in November 2018 to one count of conspiracy to commit bank theft and three counts of bank theft. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 29.
“Collectively, (Miranda’s) actions reflect a blatant and deliberate abuse of his position, disregard for the integrity of financial institutions, and disrespect for the rule of law,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum.
The FBI investigated this matter and received substantial assistance from the Vernon Police Department.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey M. Chemerinsky and Joseph D. Axelrad of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.