Two former employees of a bank in Plainview each face up to five years in prison after admitting to their roles in a yearlong skimming fraud scheme that resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of dollars.
Devin Joe Hernandez and Arely Janet Mendoza appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant and pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit theft, embezzlement or misapplication by bank officer or employee.
The two admitted to stealing thousands of dollars in cash from the BBVA Compass Bank in Plainview from October 2020 to August 2021.
Mendoza started working for the bank in September 2018 as an assistant manager, and Hernandez was hired a month later as a bank teller.
Hernandez was required to have at $60,000 in cash in his till daily. Meanwhile, it was part of Mendoza's duties to make surprise audit of the tellers.
Investigators believed the pair's scheme began in October 2020 when Hernandez began moving money back and forth from the ATM money drawer to his teller till, and secretly tallied the money he stole. Mendoza covered up the theft by entering false surprise audit results into the bank's electronic system, making Hernandez's till appear to be balanced when it was actually tens of thousands of dollars short.
Investigators believe Mendoza entered the false records at least three times when her supervisor, the bank's manager, was on sick leave, court records show.
The last surprise audit Mendoza lied about was on May, 18, 2021, when Hernandez's drawer was short about $30,000.
Mendoza left the bank the next month.
The bank's manager uncovered the theft in August 2021, during a surprise audit of Hernandez' till. Hernandez told the manager that his till would be $10,000 short, when his drawer was more than $65,000 short.
A year later, the two entered an agreement with the government to plead guilty to a felony information and waived an indictment by a grand jury.
After Wednesday's hearing, Hernandez and Mendoza were released on bond while they await a sentencing hearing.
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Former employees admit to stealing from Plainview bank