Alaska Bank Employee Steals $4.3 Million
An Anchorage bank employee embezzled more than $4 million the old-fashioned way — by carrying it out of the building, according to federal prosecutors.
Gerardo Adan Cazarez Valenzuela is charged with stuffing $4.3 million into computer boxes and wheeling them out of a KeyBank vault on a rolling cart. He was arrested in Mexico on Aug. 1 and indicted by a grand jury in Anchorage, the U.S. attorney's office said.
Details of the case were revealed in an affidavit filed by FBI agent Susan Cusack based on bank surveillance equipment, interviews with employees and admissions by Valenzuela.
According to Cusack, Valenzuela entered the vault at 6:39 p.m. July 29 — a Friday — with three computer-size boxes on a rolling cart. He turned out the vault light and filled the boxes with cash.
Just 16 minutes later, he was pushing the boxes and a computer bag out of the vault, Cusack said, and by 7 p.m., he was loading the boxes into a vehicle known to be driven by him and his girlfriend. Five minutes later, he was spotted returning the cart to the cash vault room and then driving away.
Assistant U.S. attorneys Joseph Bottini and Aunnie Steward said federal law provides for a sentence of up to 30 years if Valenzuela is convicted, but his actual sentence would be based on the seriousness of the offense and criminal record.