No jail time for former IBC bank employee charged with embezzlement

IBC Bank on June 19, 2020, in McAllen. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

A former IBC bank employee who pleaded guilty to embezzling thousands of dollars from her employer will not spend any time in jail, but she will be under supervised release for four years.

Itzel Arlete Vega was sentenced to time served and has also been ordered to spend her first 60 days in home detention with an electronic monitoring device to be determined by her probation officer, federal court documents reflect.

Vega appeared Thursday before U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr., who also ordered she pay a $1,000 fine plus $70,725.19 in restitution.

Vega entered a guilty plea July 5 to one count of a federal indictment that in part read that from May 15, 2021, to Dec. 1, 2021, as an IBC Bank employee she with “intent to defraud and injure such institution, willfully misapply the sum of approximately $88,861.14 of the moneys, funds and credits of such financial institution.”

The 23-year-old Hidalgo County resident was accused of embezzling $86,582.14 from three accounts of customers of International Bank of Commerce. The thefts occurred from July through September 2021, according to a federal criminal complaint.

She worked at the Nolana IBC Bank branch at 2900 W. Expressway 83 in McAllen.

Homeland Security Investigations agents allege Vega began embezzling from one IBC Bank customer in July 2021, where she reopened the account of a customer who had died and filled out a change of address form as well, the federal criminal complaint stated.

Between July 26 and Aug. 18, 2021, Vega made 27 transactions using the customer’s debit card totaling $2,822.68, the federal complaint stated. In addition, she withdrew $7,616 from the account, according to the complaint.

A further investigation by special agents revealed that Vega had committed the same action against two other bank customers, according to authorities. She made seven withdrawals from one account for $5,453.90, which she repaid, the federal complaint stated.

In the other account, Vega allegedly conducted 230 transactions including ATM withdrawals and purchases totaling $70,577.19, the federal complaint said.

Video surveillance shows Vega depositing the funds into a personal account at a PNC Bank, according to authorities.

According to the federal complaint, on Dec. 1, 2021, IBC Bank Vice President Marty Charles spoke to Vega via phone and Vega told her she had paid back the money on two of the accounts but did not have any money in her savings account to pay back the $70,577.19 she had taken.

Federal agents searched Vega’s apartment on Feb. 16, where they found more than 50 items of high-end merchandise including handbags, shoes, and makeup in addition to other items.