Alpine Bank teller accused of stealing more than $60,000 |

Alpine Bank teller accused of stealing more than $60,000

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” A 21-year-old teller at Alpine Bank in Willits Town Center was recently arrested for theft and forgery after a customer became sus­picious about unauthorized checks written on his account, Basalt police said Thursday.

Mario Loya Fierro, of the Cattle Creek area in Garfield County, was arrested for forgery, a class V felony, and theft, a class III felony, according to Basalt Police Sgt. Stu Curry.

Police accused Loya Fierro of writing about 26 checks totaling $61,215, drawn from the account of a landscaping firm owned by Hector Nakagawa. The alleged thefts started in July 2007, Curry said.

According to Curry, here is Loya Fierro’s alleged scheme: He wrote counter checks that were drafted on Nakagawa’s business account. Initially he started small, with checks in the $200 range and he cashed them immediately.

Later, he opened an account under what police believe is a false name. He started writing larger counter checks drafted on Naka­gawa’s account and deposited funds in the fake account. He allegedly withdrew cash periodically from the account.

Nakagawa didn’t notice the missing funds because many of his employees regularly cash checks for similar amounts at Alpine Bank.

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