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Thursday, November 4, 2010

FBI: Fugitive Oregon banker was 'heavy gambler'

Wells Fargo fired Saia for opening fraudulent accounts
Federal agents continue to search for a former Coos Bay Wells Fargo employee who is believed to have laundered money, stolen identities and committed credit card and bank fraud involving funds of some elderly customers.
Several suffer from cancer and other physical ailments.
FBI Special Agent Jason Cherry said federal agents think 37-year-old Shawna Saia, also known as Shawna Saia-Moore, may have fled to Las Vegas.
'She's a heavy gambler," Cherry said.
Saia may have also headed to be with family in Kona, Hawaii. According to her Facebook account, she lists her hometown as Hilo, Hawaii.
Federal investigators and Coos Bay police went to Saia's Coos Bay home Thursday to serve an arrest warrant and raid it for evidence of identity theft, aggravated identity theft, credit card fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, laundering of monetary instruments and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.
Cherry said Saia was last seen dropping off her child at a local school at about 8 a.m. that day. She never returned to her 1384 Montana Ave. home.
We just missed her. ... I don't know if we passed her or a neighbor called her, but somehow she figured out about the search and turned off her phone," Cherry said.
At the house, agents found 50 or more prepaid gambling cards for casinos throughout Oregon and in Las Vegas, as well as 50 or more Louis Vuitton, Coach and other high-end purses.
Before she took her job with Wells Fargo, Saia worked as a rooms division manager at The Mill Casino-Hotel from March 2003 to July 2005, said Mill spokesman Ray Doering.
Cherry noted that she has no known criminal history.
Federal agents became interested in Saia when Wells Fargo personnel fired her in August for opening bank accounts for customers without their knowledge to obtain commissions, Cherry wrote in an arrest and search warrant affidavit. She had been hired at the Coos Bay branch, 200 N. Broadway, in August 2006 as a teller. She eventually rose to assistant manager.
Two of her regular customers later reviewed their accounts and discovered multiple unauthorized transactions had been made.
Saia may have taken as much as $1.2 million in funds and gold coins from account holders.
Victims include a man who took Saia on fishing trips, excavated her backyard, and eventually trusted her with his safe deposit box keys before undergoing cancer surgery.
After Saia was terminated, (he) checked his safe deposit box and discovered that approximately 10 gold coins ... were missing," the affidavit said.
The man later said Saia showed him firearms that included assault rifles.
Another victim with medical problems described Saia 'as a best friend" before learning her money was missing and her line of equity at the bank was about $120,000 over what should have been withdrawn.
Sean Hoar, an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, said there may be other victims.
Anyone caring for a family member who banks at Wells Fargo should consider checking that person's finances to ensure he or she has not been victimized, he said.
If there is evidence, they should contact Wells Fargo, then Cherry at 541-349-2359.
Saia is described as a 5-foot-6-inch woman, weighing 150 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes.
Shawna Leimomi Moore-Saia used to work for Wells Fargo but when the bank started to receive complaints from customers that their money was disappearing, she was sacked and reported to the authorities. She promptly absconded and has been in hiding since August. Now she has surrendered to face federal charges.

The FBI put the woman who has a number of aliases used to be a hostess in a casino in Oregan.

Her FBI wanted poster says she was wanted for her alleged involvement in the theft of a large amount of money from a bank in Coos Bay, Oregon. She allegedly embezzled the money from the bank by targeting vulnerable, elderly, and sick customers and their accounts while working as an employee of the bank from August of 2006 until August of 2010. Saia Moore, born in Hawaii, was charged with multiple counts of a variety of federal white collar crimes in the United States District Court, District of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, on 27 October, 2010 and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

The charges include identity fraud, credit card fraud, embezzlement and money laundering plus the inevitable wire fraud


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