Craig bank fraud suspect awaits trial

Attorneys to meet for motions hearing next week

— A U.S. District Court case against a former Craig woman charged with 31 counts of felony bank fraud continues in Denver with no set trial date.

Federal prosecutors allege Patricia Cabano defrauded about $567,000 from the Bank of Colorado Craig branch while she worked there from 1998 to 2002.

Each count carries a possible sentence of as many as 30 years in prison and as much as a $1 million fine.

Cabano has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The District Court in Colo­rado scheduled an eight-day jury trial for August 2009 but canceled that date and a second one in November 2009 to provide adequate discovery time for the defense.

The next scheduled court appearance is 10 a.m. Jan. 15, when the court will hear arguments pertaining to the defense’s request for additional materials from prosecutors.

A motion for discovery filed by the defense states that the prosecution has more than 14,000 pages of bank statements and other papers that relate to hundreds of bank transactions Cabano reportedly made during a four-year period.

However, the motion states the prosecution has not shared some transcripts of reports made by bank officials who helped investigate the case and internal bank documents that detail allegedly false monthly reports Cabano mailed to account holders to hide incidents or fraud, among other items.

According to an indictment filed May 6, 2009, federal authorities think Cabano used her “largely unsupervised access to customers’ accounts” to make electronic transfers into accounts she owned, as well as the accounts of family members and “those of the customers she favored.”

The indictment states Cabano used many different strategies to disguise her actions, including refilling accounts she stole from before monthly statements were mailed out, blaming computer errors made at other branches outside Craig and forging false statements to mail to bank customers.

The indictment states she took money from 18 victims through fraudulent bank account transfers that ranged from $1,000 to $94,000 each.

Among the beneficiaries of Cabano’s suspected fraud are herself, a local business, several Cabano family members and a separate family living in Craig.

The victims of Cabano’s actions, according to the indictment, included several large accounts in the area, such as the city of Craig, Moffat County Treasurer, Northwest Title, Craig Medical Center and Colorado Northwestern Community Col­lege.

Authorities think Cabano was able to escape discovery for so long in part because it was her job to personally handle customer inquiries and complaints.

Court records state she now lives in California and has not been taken into custody while she awaits trial.

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