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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Former Bank Employee Charged In White Plains Federal Court With Participating In Violent Bank Robbery In October 2013

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Charles Gardner, the Commissioner of the Yonkers Police Department (“Yonkers PD”), announced today the unsealing of a Superseding Indictment charging VIRGINIA BLANCO with participating in the robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Yonkers, New York, in October 2013, and with aiding and abetting the discharge of a firearm in furtherance of the robbery. BLANCO was arrested this morning and presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith C. McCarthy.

 

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “As alleged, while working as a teller, Virginia Blanco secretly conspired to rob the bank. While not present for the actual robbery, Blanco allegedly played a key role, providing her co-conspirators with inside information to assist them. During the robbery, an alleged co-conspirator discharged two gunshots and the robbers made off with more than $300,000 in cash. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the FBI and the Yonkers Police Department, Virginia Blanco will now face justice.”

 

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “Whatever motivated the suspect in this case to allegedly provide information to robbers so they could rob the bank she worked in, she now faces the prospect of a federal prison term. It was only luck that no one was injured or killed during this robbery. No amount of money can possibly be worth losing your freedom, because you won’t get away with it. The FBI Westchester Safe Streets Task Force isn’t going to stop looking for the money, and tracking down those responsible.”

 

According to the allegations in the Superseding Indictment[1], a Complaint previously filed against a co-defendant, and other statements in the public record:

 

In or about October 2013, BLANCO was working as a teller at a Wells Fargo Bank branch located at 500 Odell Avenue in Yonkers, New York (the “Wells Fargo Branch”). She conspired with co-defendant Giovanni Marte to rob the Wells Fargo Branch and provided critical information to Marte that allowed him and his co-conspirators to carry out the robbery successfully. The robbery took place on or about October 29, 2013. On that date, at approximately 3:17 p.m., Marte and three co-conspirators arrived at the Wells Fargo Branch. One co-conspirator remained in the car while Marte and two co-conspirators entered the bank. Marte and another robber each brandished a firearm and the third robber brandished a wood saw. During the robbery, Marte fired two shots but did not hit anyone. He accessed the vault, filled a bag with approximately $303,500 in cash, and fled the Wells Fargo Branch with the other robbers.

 

* * *

 

The Superseding Indictment charges VIRGINIA BLANCO, age 28, of Yonkers, New York, with conspiring to rob the Wells Fargo Branch in or about October 2013, robbing and aiding and abetting the robbery of the Wells Fargo Branch on or about October 29, 2013, and aiding and abetting the carrying and discharging of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime. The maximum and mandatory minimum sentences are as follows: a maximum of five years in prison on Count One (conspiracy); a maximum of 20 years on Count Two (bank robbery); and a maximum of life in prison, with a mandatory minimum of 10 years, on Count Three (firearm offense).

 

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

 

Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI’s Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, which comprises agents and detectives of the FBI, United States Probation, the City of Yonkers Police Department, the City of Peekskill Police Department, the City of Mount Vernon Police Department, the New York City Police Department, the Westchester County Police, and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

 

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Zolkind is in charge of the prosecution.

 

The charges contained in the Superseding Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Superseding Indictment, and the descriptions of the Superseding Indictment set forth below, are only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
17-303
Updated September 19, 2017