A former Dunbar Armored teller was sentenced Wednesday to 10 months of home detention and was placed on probation for helping a co-worker steal $300,000 in cash from the armored truck company’s storage facility in Vernon.
Monique Castruita, 36, of Maywood, helped conduct three money switches, using dummy bricks of bills that were switched out for genuine cash bricks in late 2017 and early 2018. She pleaded guilty in Los Angeles federal court in November 2018 to conspiracy and bank theft charges.
Her co-defendant, Eric Miranda, was sentenced in February to two years in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $279,369. He was also ordered to participate in a mental health treatment program.
Miranda — a Dunbar Armored supervisor with access privilege to company vaults — created the phony stacks of $100,000 by taking hundreds of $1 bills and sandwiching them between $100 bills in order to make them appear to be bricks of hundreds totaling $100,000 each.
Miranda then smuggled the dummy bricks into the Dunbar vault, where he and Castruita switched them for real stacks of $100,000. The two then marked the dummy stacks to ensure they were not placed into circulation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Finally, Miranda smuggled the real bricks of money out of the vault room on a cart by hiding them in postal boxes. The take totaled $300,000 in cash belonging to Capital One, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors wrote in court papers that photos found on Miranda’s cell phone depicted large sums of bundled cash and images of firearms.
It was not immediately known if any of the money was recovered.