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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Former Bank Adjuster Pleads Guilty To Stealing More Than $400,000 in Conn.

 A former bank employee has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of embezzlement from a federally-insured bank, admitting she used her position to embezzle more than $400,000 to pay debts.

Maria Rosa Esteves, 40, of Bridgeport waived her right to an indictment with her plea Thursday, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

According to court documents, Esteves was employed by People's United Bank from 1993 to 2014. Starting in 2006, she worked primarily in the bank's Adjustments Department, rising to the position of lead adjuster. Her responsibilities included arranging for bank cashiers' checks to be issued to customers whose accounts need to be adjusted, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Esteves stole more than $400,000 from the bank by using cashiers' checks that she would then use to pay people or organizations to whom she owed money, such as her utility company, homeowner's insurance company and mortgage providers, the documents show.

Esteves also embezzled money by depositing cashiers' checks into bank accounts she controlled, said U.S. Attorney's spokesman Thomas Carson.

In all, Esteves misappropriated more than 300 cashiers' checks, he said.

She faces a maximum prison term of 30 years, a fine of up to $1 million and an order of restitution when she is sentenced in U.S. District Court in Hartford Nov. 7.

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