Former Bank Employee Sentenced To Federal Prison For Stealing From Deceased Customers

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew has sentenced Elias Israel Roblero Rangel (27, Bradenton) to one year and one day in federal prison for theft by a bank employee and access device fraud. The court also ordered Roblero Rangel to pay restitution in the amount of $44,187.18 to Truist Bank (formerly SunTrust Bank). Roblero Rangel had pleaded guilty on June 13, 2022.

According to court documents, between July 2019 and June 2020 Roblero Rangel worked as a personal banker at SunTrust Bank in Sarasota. Roblero Rangel misused his position of trust by stealing customer information and repeatedly conducting fraudulent transactions using their personal identifying information. For nearly a year, Roblero Rangel embezzled $44,187.18 from five different bank customers.

As part of his criminal scheme, Roblero Rangel targeted elderly, deceased bank customers. For example, on December 18, 2019, Roblero Rangel ordered a replacement credit card for a deceased customer. The card was mailed to the branch office located in Sarasota. Roblero Rangel fraudulently used the card between December 26, 2019, and January 28, 2020, and conducted multiple transactions totaling $10,041.24. When investigators confronted Roblero Rangel, he admitted to committing the fraud and stated that he had only stolen from one customer. Further investigation, however, revealed four additional victims. Roblero Rangel used each additional victim’s debit card to withdraw funds from various Truist Bank ATMs throughout the Middle District of Florida. In many instances, he was captured on surveillance video conducting the transactions.

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service takes any complaints of the fraudulent use of the mail seriously, especially those who abuse their position of trust and utilize the mail to commit fraudulent schemes,” said Postal Inspector Rick Johnsten. 

This case was investigated by U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Office of the Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa M. Thelwell.