Romanian Citizens Arrested and Charged with Laundering $1.4 Million in Proceeds from Jewelry Thefts and Covid Fraud
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Renee Green (619) 546-6775
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – September 1, 2015
SAN DIEGO – Christopher Andrew Gibson, dubbed the “Bearded Bandit,” was sentenced yesterday to 70 months in prison in connection with a string of bank robberies in the San Diego area in late 2014.
United States District Judge Marilyn L. Huff also ordered Gibson to pay restitution to the victim banks. During the sentencing hearing, prosecutors urged the judge to impose a significant sentence in part because of a bank teller’s continued emotional distress due to Gibson’s threats during one of the robberies.
In the course of the investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation learned that Gibson committed the first bank robbery within hours of being released from the George Bailey Detention Facility, where he was held on unrelated charges. Gibson was dubbed the “Bearded Bandit” because of the shaggy facial hair he had in the first two robberies.
According to his plea agreement, Gibson entered Wells Fargo Bank, located at 685 Saturn Boulevard, San Diego, on October 7, 2014, and presented a bank employee with a note that was paraphrased as follows: “I know your training. No dye packs. No GPS devices. I want $4,567. Hurry cause I'm not waiting all day.” Gibson then took approximately $1,419.00 from the employee and fled the bank.
Gibson admitted in his plea agreement that he followed up with a robbery a week later in Vista at a Chase Bank, located at 1641 South Melrose Drive, on October 15, 2014. During the robbery, Gibson presented a bank employee with a note, which in effect said, “I know your training. I want $4,788 in 15 seconds. No dye packs or GPS devices.” Gibson took approximately $2,240.00 from the employee and fled the bank.
Gibson’s final robbery occurred at a second Chase Bank, located at 985 Vista Way in Vista, on November 6, 2014. During the robbery, Gibson presented a bank employee with a note, reading to the effect, “Don't be stupid and press any buttons. I know your training so just cooperate. I want $4,000 and no GPS devices or dye packs. No fake bills. I'm counting to 30.” Gibson took approximately $4,000.00 from the employee and fled the bank. The demand notes were not recovered.
Gibson has been in custody since his arrest on November 10, 2014.
Christopher Andrew Gibson Age: 27 Vista, California
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Counts 1-3: Bank Robbery – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2113(a)
Maximum penalty: 20 years’ imprisonment and $250,000 fine