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Press Release

Filipino Woman Charged with Stealing $100,000 at Naval Base in Japan

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Filipino woman who fled from Japan to the Philippines before being arrested in Overland Park, Kan., was charged in federal court today with stealing the equivalent of nearly $100,000 at a Naval base in Japan.

Cynthia Lopez Creseni was charged with theft of public money in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo. Creseni remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Thursday, March 9, 2017.

The federal criminal complaint alleges that Creseni stole the equivalent of $99,068 from Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) was notified about the theft of approximately $85,500 and ¥ 1,620,000 (aggregate value of $99,068) from a safe assigned to Creseni at the MWR cash cage. Creseni, who has worked at the base in various positions since 2000, served as the lead cashier of the game/slot room at the time of the theft.

Creseni officially reported the funds missing from her assigned safe after returning from a vacation to the United States in February 2015. Creseni, who denied taking the money, was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

Interviews of Creseni’s co-workers revealed that she might have had some financial problems, the affidavit says. When investigators attempted to interview Creseni at her residence in Japan, they learned that she had vacated her home, sold it and moved to the Philippines. Efforts were made to locate Creseni in the Philippines, but were unsuccessful. Agents learned that Creseni entered the United States on July 15, 2015.

On Jan. 24, 2017, Creseni was located in Overland Park, Kan., and arrested by federal agents for immigration violations for overstaying her visa.

Dickinson cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Moore. It was investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Updated March 6, 2017

Financial Fraud