UPDATE: Credit union employee accused of stealing $36,000 from accounts
Three people had a total of $36,000 stolen from accounts at the Georgia United Credit Union by an employee at the organization
UPDATE: A former credit union teller is accused of stealing thousands from the people he served in Dalton.
26-year-old Eduardo Estrada faces several charges including 83 counts of first-degree forgery, 15 counts of computer fraud, 111 counts of theft by taking, 3 counts of financial identity fraud and 2 counts of financial exploitation of an elder.
Police said one of the victims in this case noticed money was missing from their account. That launched an internal investigation by Georgia United Credit Union.
The credit union turned over their findings to police in May of 2016.
Officers said Estrada took $36,000 over time from three customers while he worked there. Two of the people were elderly.
The police report said this happened at both Dalton credit union locations. Officers arrested Estrada on Monday.
"If somebody's taking $50, $20, or whatever at a time, that adds up. It's not something you're necessarily going to notice right away unless you're paying close attention to it," Bruce Frazier of the Dalton Police Department said.
That's why police and credit union officials say to check your statements often. If anything looks strange, it's best to give them a call.
The credit union said Estrada has not worked there for almost two years.
Channel 3 stopped by his house on Thursday and family members did not want to comment. He's still in jail awaiting a bond hearing on Friday.
Shawn Michael Turpin of the Georgia United Credit Union shared the following statements with Channel 3 about the theft:
"Unfortunately, we cannot comment on an ongoing investigation. The person named in the article has not been with the credit union for almost two years. While we cannot comment on this specifically, should this type of unfortunate situation happen, we would always take care of our member, making them whole. Additionally, we would notify law enforcement and provide our detailed internal investigation report.
Reviewing your accounts regularly is extremely important. With mobile and online access, this can be done quickly, anywhere at any time. If you see something you question, reach out to your institution. If you are not reviewing your accounts regularly, make sure you thoroughly check your monthly statements.
Concerning our credit union, we have robust screening, training and reinforcement, but when a person at any company makes the decision to break the law, it’s a lack of personal ethics."