Former Bank Teller Sentenced In White Plains Federal Court For Participating In Violent Bank Robbery In October 2013
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that VIRGINIA BLANCO was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison for participating in the robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Yonkers, New York, in October 2013. BLANCO was previously found guilty on all counts of a three-count Indictment that charged her with conspiracy to commit bank robbery, bank robbery, and aiding and abetting the discharge of a firearm in furtherance of the robbery. The verdict came following a four-day jury trial in White Plains federal court before U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Virginia Blanco brazenly used her inside knowledge to further an armed robbery at a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Yonkers. By providing the robbers with critical information about the Bank’s security, personnel, and procedures, she set the stage for the violent episode. Blanco’s lengthy sentence makes clear that enablers and facilitators of bank robberies – even if they’re not the ones storming the bank, pulling the trigger, or directly terrorizing the innocent bystanders – will face justice for their conduct.”
According to the allegations contained in the Indictment and evidence presented during the trial in Manhattan federal court:
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 “Bank”). She conspired with co-defendant Giovanny Marte to rob the Bank and provided critical information to Marte that allowed him and his co-conspirators to carry out the robbery successfully. On October 29, 2013, at approximately 3:17 p.m., Marte and three co-conspirators arrived at the Bank. 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 laundry bag with approximately $303,500 in cash, and fled the Bank with the other robbers. Following the robbery, BLANCO and Marte took a trip together to Aruba using proceeds from the robbery.
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Judge Seibel sentenced BLANCO to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for aiding and abetting the discharge of a firearm in furtherance of the robbery, in addition to one day of imprisonment for the bank robbery conspiracy and the bank robbery. The latter sentence will be served consecutively to the 10-year prison term. In addition, Judge Seibel imposed restitution in the amount of $303,500.
Mr. Berman 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, the Greenburgh Police Department, New York State Police and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sam Adelsberg, Jamie Bagliebter, Margery Feinzig, Douglas Zolkind, and James McMahon are in charge of the prosecution.