Former ANZ Bank employee arrested and charged
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A former ANZ Bank employee accused of stealing money from a customer’s bank account by making unauthorized transactions from the couples’ account into her own bank account was arrested and she’s now being charged.
The defendant, Henirieta Teofilo made her initial appearance in District Court last month.
She is charged with one count of stealing and one count of exploitation of an elderly person, both class C felonies, punishable by a term of imprisonment of for up to seven years, a $5,000 fine, or pursuant to A.S.C.A 46.2101, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000, or both.
Bail is set at $10,000.
On June 8, 2021, a representative from the ANZ Bank walked into the DPS Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and sought their assistance regarding a stealing incident involving one of their former employees. The representative explained to investigators that she was there on behalf of ANZ Bank to file a complaint against Henirieta Teofilo, who used to be employed by ANZ Bank as a Call Center Specialist.
The ANZ rep explained that on May 27, 2021, a male individual walked in and asked to speak with the ANZ Fagatogo Branch Manager, however, she stepped into assist the customer because the manager was unavailable at the time.
The male individual told the ANZ rep that he was there on behalf of his parents, who are account holders of a checking account with ANZ Bank.
According to the man, his niece is the only person authorized by his parent to have access to their account.
He told investigators that upon reviewing his parent’s account statement, he noticed money being transferred from the account to Mrs. Teofilo’s account. The man approached his niece and asked her about the transaction to which his niece replied that she had already spoken to Mrs. Teofilo about it and Teofilo promised that she would not do it again.
Shortly after the meeting, ANZ launched their internal investigation. Results revealed that on March 8, 2021, Teofilo used her employee access to perform an online account maintenance.
During the account maintenance, Teofilo deleted the niece’s phone number and entered her own office phone number of (684) 622-9202. The change was made so that Teofilo could receive the security call to gain access to online banking for that account.
There were 19 unauthorized transactions made by Teofilo from Mar. 8 - Apr. 13, 2021. Total amount transferred totaled up to $1,081 and it ranged from $7 up to $160. Thirteen unauthorized transaction were made in March and 6 in April.
On May 28, 2021, ANZ disabled Teofilo’s access and privileges. At the same time, Teofilo was instructed by the bank not to report to work until notified. The bank’s head of compliance for American Territories, immediately escalated the matter to Group Integrity (GI) for a full investigation.
On June 23rd, 2021, an amount of $1081 was credited back into the couple’s bank account by the ANZ Bank.
On July 13th, investigators met up with the niece who was the only person authorized by the couple to access to their bank account. The meeting was held at the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) conference room where the niece agreed to an interview.
The niece stated that while checking her email for students’ assignments, she came across an email notifying her that a transaction was made from her grandparents bank account to Teofilo’s account.
Sometime later, the niece confronted Teofilo regarding the online transaction whereas Teofilo admitted to her (niece) that she did all those transfers and promised to pay her back the entire amount taken from that account.
The niece told investigators that her uncle was very upset when he found out about what Teofilo did to her grandparents bank account and reported it to the ANZ Bank right away. The niece also told investigators that ever since that incident, she hasn’t seen nor heard from Teofilo.
On the following day on July 14th, investigators interviewed Teofilo regarding the alleged matter.
During the interview, Teofilo admitted that she changed information from the bank account by changing the login information of the niece so that she could access the account. She also admitted that she transferred money from the couple’s bank account into her account without the couples’ permission.
She did this from time to time due to an unstable financial situation in her family.
Teofilo also stated to investigators that she was willing to pay the money back, however, she was not able to because of what the couples’ son had done to her. According to Teofilo, the couples’ son made a scene at the bank, which was very embarrassing for her.
Lastly, Teofilo told investigators that she admitted to the ANZ Bank rep that all of it was true.