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Press Release

Former Bank of the West Employee Arraigned on Federal Embezzlement and Identity Theft Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

Defendant Charged with Embezzling Money from Bank of the West,
Two Indian Tribal Organizations and Several Individual Account Holders

ALBUQUERQUE – Angela Giddings, 37, of Albuquerque, N.M., was arraigned this morning on a 22-count indictment charging her with embezzlement by a bank employee, embezzlement from Indian tribal organizations, and aggravated identity theft.  Giddings entered a not guilty plea during today’s arraignment hearing and was released on conditions of release and pretrial services supervision pending trial, which has yet to be scheduled.

The indictment charges Giddings with 12 counts of embezzlement by a bank employee; six counts of embezzlement from Indian tribal organizations; and four counts of aggravated identity theft.  The indictment alleges that Giddings committed these crimes in Bernalillo County, N.M., between Feb. 2, 2013, and July 18, 2014.  At the time, Giddings was employed as a customer services manager for Bank of the West.

According to the indictment, Giddings embezzled funds entrusted to the bank by withdrawing and transferring funds from the accounts of customers without authorization and for her own use.  The indictment alleges that Giddings’ allegedly unlawful withdraws and transfers ranged from $15,000.00 to $60,000.00.  It also alleges that the victims of Giddings’ criminal conduct included the To’hajilee Community School Board and the Cañoncito Band of Navajos.  The aggravated identity theft charges allege that Giddings used the names, addresses, and personal identifiers of individuals to commit felony offenses.

If convicted, Giddings faces a statutory maximum penalty of 30 years in prison on each of the 12 embezzlement by a bank employee charges; a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison on each of the six embezzlement from an Indian tribal organization charges; and a mandatory two-year term of imprisonment on each of the four identity theft charges that must be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the embezzlement charges.  The indictment also includes forfeiture provisions that seek forfeiture to the United States of money and property constituting, or derived from, the proceeds of Giddings’ alleged criminal activity.

Charges in indictments are merely accusations.  Defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Office of Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Peña.

Updated January 26, 2015