LAREDO, Texas - Petra Del Bosque and Anita Arredondo, both 55 and from Zapata, have been sentenced following their convictions related to a long-running bank fraud scheme targeting Zapata National Bank (ZNB), announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Arredondo and Del Bosque pleaded guilty in February and January 2015, respectively.
Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo handed both women a 36-month prison sentence, each to be followed by five years of supervised release. The court also ordered they owe restitution in the amount of $615,681.15.
Judge Marmolejo found that neither defendant had been truthful with the court in accounting for the whereabouts of the remainder of the stolen money. Arredondo and Del Bosque had returned some money at the time of their arrests and later submitted expenditure reports to the court purporting to show how they had spent the remaining funds. However, Judge Marmolejo did not find their reports credible and there is nearly $200,000 in unaccounted for stolen funds.
Del Bosque is a former employee of Zapata National Bank (ZNB), while Arredondo worked for a Zapata-based construction company as a clerk in the accounts payable department and had responsibility for issuing company checks.
For two years, Arredondo issued numerous false company checks made payable to contractors who had not performed the work that was the alleged basis for the checks.
Arredondo admitted to endorsing the false checks by forging the signatures of the contractors and then delivering the checks to Del Bosque at ZNB. Del Bosque led ZNB bank tellers to believe she was cashing the checks on behalf of the contractors who were unable to come to the bank themselves and that she would deliver the funds from the cashed checks. However, she actually pocketed the money and split the proceeds of the fraud with Arredondo.
Both have admitted that the loss as a result of the scheme totals more than $800,000.
Both were previously ordered into custody where they will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Robert S. Johnson and former AUSA Sanjeev Bhasker prosecuted the case.