CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A teller who used her knowledge of bank operations to issue credit cards in other’s names for her own personal use in order to defraud customers out of $43,418 got one year in prison from a federal judge.
Natasha Seetaram, 39, of St. Thomas, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Robert Molloy to 12 months and one day of incarceration, followed by four years of supervised release for bank fraud, U.S. Attorney Delia L. Smith said.
According to court records, Seetaram formerly worked at a St. Thomas branch
of Banco Popular where she used her position as a bank employee to issue debit cards
in the names of two unknowing bank customers.
After issuing the ATM debit cards, Seetaram used the cards for her own personal benefit by making fraudulent ATM withdrawals and purchases in the amount of approximately $43,000.00 in St. Thomas and Jacksonville, Florida. The two victims were subsequently reimbursed by the bank and Seetaram was ordered by the court to pay restitution to the bank in the amount of $43,418.76.
Comments on social media suggested that this might not be the only case out there for investigators to consider.
“Over $20,000 stolen from a Banco Popular card that was in my wallet too!” Michelle Felder said on Facebook. “I signed up for alerts for purchases over $500 and never got a call, text or email.”
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service. It was prosecuted
by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of the Virgin Islands.