Former Craig woman indicted for federal bank fraud |

Former Craig woman indicted for federal bank fraud

Collin Smith

— A former Craig woman was indicted in U.S. District Court in Denver last month after officials alleged she stole money from 18 different accounts at the Bank of Colorado in Craig, where she worked.

Patricia Cabano, 56, is charged with 31 felony counts of federal bank fraud. Each count carries a possible sentence of as many as 30 years in prison and as much as a $1 million fine.

She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

According to the indictment filed May 6, authorities believe she embezzled money from various accounts from July 1998 to November 2002 while she worked first as head bookkeeper and then as operations officer for the bank.

The indictment states that by the time authorities discovered Cabano’s actions, she and the scheme’s other alleged beneficiaries had spent $567,000 in stolen funds, which was a loss to the bank.

Federal prosecutors listed 18 different victims, as well as 31 specific incidents of fraudulent bank account transfers that ranged from $1,000 to $94,000 each.

Dave Dempster, Bank of Colorado president, said he did not have a comment about the case at this time.

The federal indictment states 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.”

Among the beneficiaries of Cabano’s suspected fraud are a local business and several Cabano family members, among others.

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.

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.

Authorities believe, according to the indictment, Cabano was able to escape discovery for so long in part because it was her job to personally handle customer inquiries and complaints.

Thus, no one else was in a position to check what she was doing.

The indictment does not say, however, what led officials to eventually discover her scheme or why it has taken almost seven years to file charges.

The court in her case has allowed Cabano to stay out of custody while she awaits trial, with the stipulation that she not apply for a passport.

She currently lives in West Sacramento, Calif., according to court records.

Her next appearance is set for July 24, and Cabano is scheduled to start an eight-day jury trial Aug. 3 in Denver.

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