Anchorage man accused of stealing $4.3M from KeyBank
Anchorage man who was caught trying to smuggle over $4 million from the bank he worked for across the Mexican border is now being extradited back to Alaska to face some serious criminal charges.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder's office, Gerardo Adan Cazarez Valenzuela, who also goes by Gary, 33, of Anchorage is coming back to the United States to face charges filed against him in 2011 for stealing approximately $4.3 million from KeyBank.
Cazarez was the cash vault services manager when he stole the large sum of cash from the bank and then flew in a chartered jet to Washington where he rented a car and attempted to drive to Mexico, according to the release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Steward says Cazarez needed time to set up this scheme.
"It's alleged in the complaint there was quite a bit of planning that went into something of that scale," said Steward.
On Aug. 2, 2011, Cazarez was arrested and charged on offenses related to money laundering and illegal possession of firearms after Mexican authorities found $3.8 million in cash, firearms and ammunition in his luggage during a random search at a checkpoint, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
After serving a term in a Mexican jail, Cazarez is now headed back to the U.S. to stand trial for his crimes in Anchorage starting Thursday morning, according to the release.
Steward says she has never seen anything like this in the 12 years she has worked here.
"The amount of money is unusual, it happened near PFD time so there was more money available to be taken, his fleeing to Mexico and getting to Mexico before it had been noticed that he had taken money, the chartering the jet all of that, and then being arrested and being held in Mexico that makes this an unusual case," said Steward.
If Cazarez is convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
Cassie Schirm contributed to this story.
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