Women Plead Guilty In Conspiracy To Embezzle Crime Stoppers’ Cash Rewards
One Defendant Worked as a Bank Teller
DALLAS — Two local women, Amelia Blair Lopez, of Lancaster, Texas, and Eva Barrientos, of Red Oak, Texas, both 26, appeared in federal court this week and admitted embezzling Crime Stoppers’ funds on deposit at JP Morgan Chase Bank, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Specifically, each woman, who remains on bond, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft, embezzlement or misapplication by a bank employee and faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution. Sentencings are set for this summer.
According to documents filed in the case, from February to April 2010, Lopez, a teller with JP Morgan Chase Bank, and Barrientos, embezzled approximately $18,750 of money entrusted to the care of JP Morgan Chase Bank by the North Texas Crime Commission.
Lopez provided Barrientos and Barrientos’s husband with confidential Crime Stoppers tip information, including tip numbers and code words necessary to collect the Crime Stoppers cash rewards. Barrientos, Barrientos’s husband and others would present the tip numbers and code words to Lopez, and other tellers at the bank, to collect the Crime Stoppers cash rewards. After Barrientos, Barrientos’s husband and others collected the cash rewards, they would divide the cash among the coconspirators.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Dallas Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Errin Martin is in charge of the prosecution.