Former Bank of Colorado VP embezzles estimated $650K
On March 2, 2011, the Bank of Colorado (BOC) and its parent company Pinnacle Bank reported to the Grand Junction Police Department that a large sum of money had been stolen from its vaults over a long period of time. A licensed CPA fraud investigator’s initial investigation led to a single suspect employee, 53-year-old Anna Louise Jones.
Jones, a Loma resident, was employed as Vice President for the BOC at the 200 Grand Ave. branch in Grand Junction and had been with the company since 1991.
On nine separate occasions, money that should have been transferred from one vault to another was not deposited, nor was there any record of that money being received or entered into said vault.
All bank employees were questioned and individual audits were made on teller’s drawers. It was determined that Jones was the only individual with access and control to be able to access the vault and control the numbers and employees to make the difference go unnoticed.
Quarterly audits that were done on the vaults were done in pencil. The audits had eraser marks with numbers written over them. Three employees who did not conduct the audits were told to sign the form by Jones.
The affidavit states, “Anna indicated the cash shortage has been in place since she started over 20 years ago and the prior bank’s cashier told her it would always be there. Anna initially indicated the difference would always be $325,000 per vault, but later said she thought it could change. She didn’t understand why there was this difference, but indicated she believed it was a “cash reserve” similar to Loan Loss Reserve and she was informed that the purpose of the cash reserve difference was to borrow from the fed. Anna would adjust balances between the vaults to keep the total under the vault Anna said no one else knew about the difference.”
When speaking to superiors, the cash reserve was never mentioned.
The affidavit also mentions that Jones was resistant toward a new ledger system and sent out emails to other employees asking questions about how extensive upcoming audits would be.
Another BOC employee said that on one occasion, Jones seemed high or intoxicated when in the break room. This also happened to take place several days before cash went missing from a vault.
When law enforcement looked into Jones’ credit reports, numbers didn’t add up. Jones has 13 open credit accounts including a mortgage, secondmortgage, two vehicles, line of credit and eight separate credit cards in her credit history with balances that were being paid with a minimum monthly payment of $4,245.
The affidavit states, “Bank of Colorado reported that Anna’s salary at the time of her termination was $45,000 per year. Her pre-tax pre-deduction gross income at this rate would be $3,750 per month, which is far less than what would be required to maintain the minimum monthly credit bills.”
The most recent month of payment, Aug. 22, 2011, showed that $6,703 had been paid towards said accounts.
Although this is an issue for BOC, President Franklin said, “The main thing is that there were no customer accounts that were affected or involved in the embezzlement.”
BOC also carries insurance for coverage situations such as this. Franklin did not comment further.
Jones is charged with theft in excess of $20,000, a class 3 felony, money laundering, a class 3 felony, and criminal penalties (filing a false return), a class 5 felony. She has been terminated from her position at BOC.
Jones was arrested Nov. 2.