Two Plead Guilty in Bank Fraud Scheme at Zapata National Bank
LAREDO, TX—Petra Del Bosque, 54, and Anita Arredondo, 53, both of Zapata, have both been convicted of embezzling money in a long-running bank fraud scheme targeting Zapata National Bank (ZNB), announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Arredondo entered her plea this morning, while Del Bosque previously pleaded last month.
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.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo accepted the pleas and has set sentencing for April 28, 2015. At that time, each faces up to 30 years in federal prison and a possible $1 million fine.
The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert S. Johnson and Sanjeev Bhasker are prosecuting the case.