Stoney Creek CIBC bank manager stole nearly $2M from seniors, deceased customers


A 60-year-old Burlington bank manager at a CIBC branch in Stoney Creek is facing fraud chargesafter an investigation found she stole $1.7 million from seniors and customers who had recently died.

Police say the woman, who was immediately taken into custody, has resigned from her position and is facing fraud charges. According to the report on CBC, the woman has been charged with fraud over $5,000, possession over $5,000 and breach of trust, according to police.

Hamilton police say they got involved in the case on April 25, 2019, after the service’s major fraud unit received a tip from CIBC's corporate security about an internal probe alleging one of their employees had taken a large sum of money from customers. After a lengthy investigation, police say it found the woman had stolen $1.7 million between 2008 and 2015.

She has since been released from police custody, on a promise that she would appear in court on October 24, 2019, at 9 a.m.

This is not a new practice. Several times in the past, it has been reported that bank employees stole money from either senior citizens or dead customers. Livewire has a list of 10 bank employees who stole money from deceased customers.

The list includes the story of bank teller Michelle Crouch who drained a deceased customer’s savings account. She took over $100,000 and left just $5. A couple of days later, Crouch had attended the customer’s funeral, introduced herself to his family, and hugged his grieving mother. After she was caught, Crouch claimed that the customer had been a friend of hers and that he had given her an interest-free loan before he died. She created a loan document and forged his name on it. No one believed her; she served 20 months in prison.

There is also the case of bank teller, Alex Cunningham who befriended a senior citizen at the bank and took control of her finances. He opened and closed bank accounts without her knowledge, and he had loans totalling around £40,000 credited to her account. Cunningham managed to steal £271,885 from her account before a large unauthorized transfer alarmed bank officials. They began an internal investigation and caught Cunningham. He was jailed for three-and-a-half years.

In 2016, CBS reported that a former Wells Fargo bank employee in San Francisco and his friendwere both accused of stealing money from elderly and deceased bank customers, and they both pleaded not guilty. David Gedarevich, 25, of San Francisco and Aleksandr Zima, 40, of Carmichael, are both charged with conspiracy, grand theft, embezzlement and money laundering involving more than $800,000.

Prosecutors said that during the investigation, officers had uncovered a scheme to launder and embezzle money from the bank accounts of elderly and deceased Wells Fargo customers.

“Not all bank robbers wield guns,” District Attorney George Gascon for the city and county of San Francisco, had said then, in a statement. "Across the county, we are seeing an increasing number of cases where the crooks are just on the other side of the counter."