Jeff Smith 2:30 p.m., June 26
Former bank employee denies grand theft charge
Shaun Patrick Flanagan remains at liberty
Seventy-three-year-old Nancy has had an account at Wells Fargo Bank for many years. She lost her husband Ted in 2011, and it was a comfort for her to be able to continue her bank visits with her “personal banker,” Shaun Flanagan.
Nancy lives on Chapalita Drive which is conveniently near her bank on North El Camino Real, in Encinitas, California.
Shaun Flanagan always helped with her transactions, which included “filling out Nancy’s withdrawal slips,” according to San Diego County Sheriff’s investigator William J. Thomas.
Nancy normally made withdrawals in amounts of $100 or $200, according to officer Thomas, but someone at the bank noticed withdrawals in the amounts of $4,000 and $5,500 and $5,900 and similar.
In September of 2012, the bank phoned Nancy to advise her that they suspected “fraudulent activity” on her account. Nancy went to the bank and “sat at Shaun’s desk” and told him about the call. Shaun Flanagan told Nancy “not to worry” and said the phone call may have been about “an old check that had been forged,” according to the investigator.
The next day, Nancy returned to the bank and was informed by a manager that Flanagan had been terminated. At that point, the bank believed $22,000 was fraudulently taken from Nancy’s checking account, in one month, July of 2012. Nancy was shown withdrawal slips and she confirmed that was not her signature.
The bank continued an internal investigation and decided that $77,440.88 had been fraudulently removed from Nancy’s account from Sept 2011 through Sept 2012, and the bank restored that amount, according to the investigator’s report.
Shaun Patrick Flanagan, 34, presented himself in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse as soon as he learned that he was the subject of an investigation, according to his attorney. Yesterday afternoon, August 12, 2013, the former bank employee pleaded not-guilty to four felonies: grand theft, ID theft, check forgery, and theft from elder.
Defense attorney Erik Friis told a judge that Shaun Flanagan hopes to keep his current employment at Costco because he needs the medical coverage for one of his ailing children. (Shaun and his wife Heather reportedly reside in Escondido, California.)
Honorable Judge Marshall Hockett allowed Flanagan to remain at liberty on his own recognizance, and ordered the defendant back to court on September 4, 2013.