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Kauai bank employee admits stealing $120,000 from ATM

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 01:58 a.m. HST, May 01, 2013

A former First Hawaiian Bank employee admitted in federal court Tuesday that she stole more than $120,000 from the Kapaa branch’s ATM over a five-year period.

Shelli Ornellas, 35, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to bank theft. She faces maximum penalties of 30 years in prison and $1 million fine at sentencing in September. She must also repay the money she stole.

Ornellas stole the money while working as the Kapaa branch’s ATM custodian from 2008 to Feb. 4, 2013.

“I withdrew money to pay personal bills without the bank’s knowledge,” she said.

Prosecutor Andrea Hattan said Ornellas concealed her theft by manually altering the ATM’s balance to reflect a cash amount higher than what was in the automated teller machine. She was caught when the ATM ran out of money, Hattan said.

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Bully wrote:
Caught when the ATM ran out of money but she lasted pretty long.
on April 30,2013 | 02:49PM
bobbob wrote:
It's actually very easy to steal money from companies if you're in a position of trust/power. But bank controls are better than most companies, and so is its screening process.
on April 30,2013 | 07:07PM
sixthsense wrote:
Hope she had a lot of fun. When the money ran out, the fun stopped. Now, let the NIGHTMARE begin. How sad.
on April 30,2013 | 03:12PM
Hawaiians wrote:
Wow that was pretty clever, to bad it was the Federal banks though, won't be fun sitting in a cell for the next 30 years doing more time than for murder isn't that ironic ?
on April 30,2013 | 03:42PM
LRob69 wrote:
Wouldn't it make more sense to alter the balance to reflect an amount LOWER than the actual amount that was in the ATM? Then when you remove the difference it would not have ran out of cash? Damn...gotta be Kauai!
on April 30,2013 | 03:46PM
silvangold wrote:
hahaha hahahaha yup!!!
on May 1,2013 | 11:23AM
HD36 wrote:
John Corrizine, CEO of MF Global stole more than $120 million of customer funds and got a slap on the wrist. They say, accounting is the best way to steal money depending on how creative you can be.
on April 30,2013 | 04:25PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
She was only caught because the ATM ran out of fund. Had that not happened she would still be doing it to this day. She'll probably get short time. She may even receive probation. Hawaii is soft on theft.
on April 30,2013 | 06:09PM
paradisetax wrote:
No real consequences here.
on April 30,2013 | 06:43PM
paradiddle wrote:
It's surprising she didn't get caught sooner. Seems as if someone else in the bank was not doing his/her due diligence. Unfortunately, restitution is highly unlikely in view of her "excuse" for stealing and the fact that the thefts occurred over such a long period of time. I suspect this woman was living beyond her means or over her head financially and/or had some substance abuse problems. The consequence here is now she will be supported by the already struggling taxpayers while in prison.
on April 30,2013 | 08:13PM
billybob_76 wrote:
$120,000 for five years equals to about $500 a week. I can see how easy that would be if she did it that way.
on May 1,2013 | 08:07AM
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