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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

2 ex-credit union employees get prison for stealing $1M

HOUSTON – Two suburban women have been ordered to federal prison following their conviction for embezzling from their former employer, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Susanna Guajardo, 43, Pearland, and Grace Garza aka Grace Valencia, 49, Pasadena, pleaded guilty June 19 and Feb. 17, respectively.

Today, U.S. District Judge Lake handed Guajardo and Garza a total of 33 and 21 months in prison, respectively, each to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, Judge Lake also ordered Guarjardo and Garza  o pay $1,154,876 and $1,163,673 in restitution, respectively. In handing down the sentence, the court noted the sentence was appropriate given the long duration of the scheme and the amount of money involved.

Guajardo and Garza were long-time employees at a local credit union. Guajardo was a supervisor in the Accounting Department and Garza was a teller/vault supervisor. Both women admitted to embezzling $1,154,876 by depositing worthless checks from other banks into their credit union accounts. When the checks were returned for insufficient funds, Guajardo failed to deduct the “bounced” amounts from their credit union accounts and concealed the theft by making false entries in the bank’s books and records. Garza also stole $110,000 from the credit union’s vault.

Previously released on bond, Guajardo and Garza were permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Belinda Beek is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated December 12, 2019