Former Bardstown Chief Financial Officer Sentenced to 35 Months in Federal Prison for Embezzling City Funds
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Former GardaWorld armored truck driver Mark Nicholas Espinosa has been sentenced to 37 months imprisonment and ordered to pay $932,285.22 in restitution, for five charges related to the theft of more than $900,000 from the vehicle, announced United States Attorney Russell Coleman.
“When the FBI, LMPD, and U.S. Attorney’s Office collaborate as partners, the people of Louisville are the beneficiaries and thieves such as Mr. Espinosa pay the price,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman.
Espinosa was charged by a Louisville Grand Jury in February with theft from a common carrier, bank robbery, interstate transportation of stolen money, monetary transactions involving stolen money, and money laundering.
According to a plea agreement, in late 2018 Espinosa began creating identification documents for "Sam Smith" on his computer. On December 5, 2018, Espinosa was working with a partner in a bullet-proof armored truck, collecting money from various Louisville businesses. The duo arrived at the Jefferson Mall in Louisville, and Espinosa's partner told Espinosa that he would pick up cash from customers inside the Mall, and that Espinosa should drive the truck and meet him at the exit on the other side of the Mall. When Espinosa's partner finished his pick-ups and exited the Mall, Espinosa was not there.
Shortly thereafter the Garda World truck was found abandoned in the Mall parking lot. Espinosa was missing, but his gun, backpack, and cell phone battery were located inside the truck. Also missing was $932,285.22 in cash from the back of the truck. Espinosa stole the money and fled Kentucky to Connecticut, driving through Ohio and Pennsylvania, in an attempt to evade law enforcement. Espinosa was ultimately arrested in Connecticut, living under the name Sam Smith, and $892,737.89 was found in Espinosa's Connecticut apartment.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David Weiser and Rob Bonar, and was investigated by the Louisville Metro Police Department Robbery Unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).