ATM Specialist Left Her Job With $100,000 From Cash Vault

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SAN DIEGO – A former ATM specialist at Pacific Marine CU at Camp Pendelton who walked out of work one day in 2002 with a tissue box-sized brick of 1,000 $100 bills stuffed into a backpack, was tracked down to Idaho and finally convicted last week of theft charges for the eight-year-old heist

Prosecutors said Erin Lovelette was tracked down after she tried to structure deposits for the stolen $100,000 by depositing less than $10,000 dozens of times in several bank accounts.

Lovelette had been given two weeks notice for poor work performance on May 2, 2002 when she was working with two other credit union workers whom she told she had lost her keys to the cash bin located inside the cash bin, according to court records. So she borrowed keys from one of her co-workers. During the day she contacted her husband, an active duty Marine at Camp Pendleton and told him she needed his backpack at work. When the cash vault was closed that day one of the other workers discovered the missing cash.

The employees agreed that the missing $100,000 consisted of a “brick” of $100 bills, wrapped in plastic, about the size of a tissue box.

Lovelette refused to cooperate with investigators from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, but a subsequent investigation by the Internal Revenue Service found that she began making cash deposits of thousands of dollars–but less than $10,000 each time–in accounts at Washington mutual and Downey Savings and Loan, ranging from $100 to $9,100–in the days after the missing cash was discovered. The IRS traced a total of $64,660 in suspicious deposits to her.

Lovelette is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

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