Bank manager pleads
guilty to fraud

Star-Bulletin staff

A former Bank of Hawaii manager has pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud and embezzlement.

Belina Costales Zamora, 39, admitted taking at least $135,000 from the Lanai branch.

Zamora admitted she took funds from the accounts of about nine Bank of Hawaii customers without their authorization between February 1999 and April, U.S. Attorney Edward Kubo Jr. said Tuesday. In some instances, Zamora transferred the stolen money into accounts she controlled, he said.

Zamora told the court that she masked the fraud by having some of the customers' account statements sent to her branch rather than to the customers. When customers complained about the unauthorized withdrawals, she transferred money into their accounts from the accounts of other customers.

Zamora faces up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to a $1 million for each count. She is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor on Dec. 16. Zamora agreed to make full restitution for the stolen funds.

Authorities from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Lanai District of the Maui Police Department investigated the case.

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