She was an ordinary bank employee in the small municipality of Almoradí, population 20,000, located in Spain’s Alicante province. Yet for 25 years she lived far beyond her means: she owned a big house, drove a luxury car, and took expensive trips to exotic destinations with her partner, then openly boasted about it on social media.
The Spanish Civil Guard has just discovered the origin of her wealth: for a quarter century, she had allegedly been stealing from a Russian client who had an account at her bank.
Investigators believe that the suspect, a 51-year-old woman whose identity has not been disclosed, diverted $1.5 million (around €1.28 million) in funds from an account held by a Russian national now aged 80. She is being charged with bank fraud and forging documents.
The investigation began a month ago, when the account holder filed a complaint with the local Civil Guard in Almoradí. The name of the bank has not been released either.
Every time the man returned to Russia, his account would be depleted a little more
According to police sources, the Russian national arrived in Rojales, located eight kilometers from Almoradí, in 1992. He then opened a bank account in the latter municipality, and developed a relationship of trust with the suspect.
The account holder rarely checked his balance, but in June of this year he requested a detailed statement because he was considering switching banks. That is when he realized that over $1.5 million was missing.
Investigators analyzed all the transactions linked to that account, and realized that most money transfers had taken place while the account holder was in Russia, meaning that he did not authorize them.
Every time the man returned to Russia, his bank balance would be depleted a little more. But every time he requested information about the balance, the employee would provide unofficial documents forged by herself, to make it look like his balance had not changed.
The suspect was arrested and released pending trial following her arraignment.
English version by Susana Urra.