Lana'i bank manager held on embezzlement charges
By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Maui County Bureau
The former branch manager of the Bank of Hawaii in Lana'i City made her initial appearance in Honolulu federal court yesterday after being charged with embezzling more than $100,000 from customer accounts.
Belina Zamora, 39, who was arrested Friday by police on Lana'i, was ordered by a federal magistrate to remain in custody pending a detention hearing on Friday.
According to a criminal complaint filed against Zamora, the woman forged signatures, made unauthorized money transfers and removed money from accounts during the period Jan. 4, 2000, to June 28, 2001.
Questions apparently began to arise after a 65-year-old customer did not receive statements for his Bank of Hawaii retirement account and called the bank. The bank in turn notified Maui County police.
While preparing his taxes, Miguel Magaoay had called the bank and gotten a copy of his IRA statement and discovered $7,800 missing. Bank officials have declined to comment on Magaoay's case, but the man said the bank reimbursed him for his loss.
One another occasion, according to the complaint, a 90-year-old man traveled to Bank of Hawaii's main branch on O'ahu to complain that Zamora was stealing from him. She allegedly stole $10,000 from his account and later stole money from another account to cover the deficit, according to the complaint.
The bank, which fired Zamora, cooperated with authorities in the investigation and promised to make good on any missing money. After being arrested without incident on Friday, Zamora was transported to Maui, where she was turned over to FBI agents, who took her to Honolulu.
The FBI took over the investigation in May from the Maui Police Department.