SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A 38-year-old Santa Fe woman was sentenced to a year in prison for illegally cashing checks from the U.S. treasury. According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice District of New Mexico, Zayra Olivia Alvarado was sentenced after pleading guilty to five counts of theft of public money from the U.S. and one count of aiding and abetting the theft of public money from the U.S.
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According to court records, in 2014 and 2015, Alvarado obtained U.S. Treasury tax refund checks that were fraudulently acquired. The news release states that Alvarado used her position at Wells Fargo Bank to open accounts in the names of the people to whom the checks were issued or to search for accounts with names similar to those on the checks. Alvarado then either cashed the checks or deposited them into the accounts she had opened and withdrew funds from the accounts.
In addition to her prison term, Alvarado must pay restitution of $23,195 and will be subject to three years of supervised release upon her release from prison. The news release states the IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly Brawley and Steve Kotz prosecuted the case. No other information was provided.