Friday, December 08, 2023

Lockwood bank employee charged with embezzling $47,500 using drive-through window

The Dade County Prosecuting Attorney filed two counts of felony stealing today against a former Simmons Bank of Lockwood employee who allegedly stole $47,500 with two sizable withdrawals from customer accounts.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Christopher Paris Lee Docker (DOB 1988), Springfield, with bond set at $50,000 cash only.

The bank has fired Docker, according to the probable cause statement, which indicates Docker withdrew the money from the accounts and handed it out the drive-through window to an unknown associate.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol began its investigation June 26 when bank officials discovered Docker had given $23,500 to an unknown person through the drive-through window April 28, according to the probable cause statement.

An internal investigation uncovered a second transaction, the report said, with Docker overseeing a second transaction through the drive-through, this time totaling $24,000.

From the probable cause statement:

On May 6, 2023, Witness #1 traveled to Victim #1 Bank in Lockwood, Missouri. Witness #1 provided only a "code word" and was given $24,000. The $24,000 was not withdrawn from Witness #1's account, it was from another customer's account, unknown to Witness #1. 

The employees at the bank at the time of this transaction, were Witness #2 and Docker. Witness #2 stated the withdraw slip, was in an envelope with the code word written on it, and it was already in the vault at the beginning of the day and she did not know how it got there. 

Witness #2 stated at the beginning of the day, Docker told her there would be two large transactions for her that day and her and Docker prepared the $24,000 prior to Witness #1 making the withdraw. 

When Witness #1 arrived at the bank to withdraw the money, Docker told Witness #2, the individual withdrawing the money was the account holder's grandson and the money was being used to purchase a truck. 

Docker instructed Witness #2 to start the transaction because he would have to override her portion and then Witness #2 would have to override Docker's portion of the transaction. The $24,000 was given to Witness #1. Witness #2 later stated, on security footage she observed Docker place the envelope that contained the withdraw slip and code word in the shred bin. 

Docker was interviewed and questioned about both transactions. Docker stated during the first transaction involving the $23,500 on April 28th, there was a transfer slip in the overnight drop box, transferring $23,500 from one account holder to a completely different account holder. 

Docker assisted another employee in transferring the money and then shortly thereafter he facilitated the transaction where it was withdrawn. Docker allowed the withdraw to occur to a subject, wearing a face mask and food service gloves, large hat , driving a vehicle with no license plates, alleging to be the account holder's son. The account holder's son was not on the account. 

A review of the security footage clearly shows the individual who withdrew money was not the account holder's son. Docker stated he did not have a direct recollection of the second transaction on May 6, 2023, involving the $24,000, even though he closely monitored and assisted. Docker stated he recognized Witness #1 as a customer of the bank, and stated he thought his name was possibly "Carlton".

Witness #1 stated during an interview he was contacted by a female subject on SnapChat approximately one month prior to withdrawing the money. The female subject developed a relationship with Witness #1 and told Witness #1 she was friends with "Paris" who works at Victim #1 Bank. 

Witness #1 also indicated he had communication directly with "Paris" multiple times prior to picking up the money. Witness #1 provided a phone number for Docker, which an online records check revealed was a number registered to Docker. 

Witness # stated the female subject asked him to travel to Victim #1 Bank and pick up some money she needed to withdraw out 0f her account. The female told Witness #1 her friend "Paris" could not get the money for her because it was a conflict of interest because he worked at bank. Witness #1 traveled to Victim #1 Bank provided the code word and was given the money. 

Witness #1 then traveled to the parking lot of another business in Lockwood, where he gave the money to Docker. Witness #1 was given $100 by Docker for picking up the money. 

Prior to his termination, Docker assisted Witness 3 set up various accounts. Witness 3's accounts were the ones the $23,500 and $24,000 transactions were withdrawn from. Docker had direct knowledge of Witness J's accounts and how much money was in each of those accounts. 

Witness 3 made the decision to close their accounts a short time after the first fraudulent transaction took place. Docker assisted Witness 3 in closing their accounts on May 11, 2023. During the process of closing those accounts, Witness 3 discovered on account was short $24,000. 

Docker informed Witness #3 the $24,000 was trying to post twice in the system causing the error. Docker then informed Witness 3 he could fix the error, however, they would have to return the following day to retrieve the $24,000 and finish closing out their accounts. 

Witness 3 stated she found the amount of $24,000 odd because the original amount in the account was $25,000. During their course of interaction, Docker told Witness 3, transactions for more than $25,000 require more documentation. The following day, May 12, 2023, Docker is observed on security footage making the following entries involving Witness 3's accounts: 

1) 1433 hours - Cash Deposit for $24k-Cashier's Check created (ending in 1667), no customers in bank

2) 1436 hours - Transaction from 1433 hours was deleted, reason listed "delete 48k", cashier's check voided, no customers in bank 

3) 1440 hours- Runs "cash in" transaction $24k purchase cashier's check payable to Witness 3, transaction deleted with no reason given, cashier's check ending in 1667 voided with no reason given 

4) 1510 hours -Cash deposit $24k, no customer 

5) 1546 hours - Witness #3 purchases cashier's check ending i 1737, memo reads "closing account" 

6) Victim #1 Bank performed an audit of Docker's teller drawer and sleeve after his employment ended. The sleeve had to be drilled because Docker did not return the keys to his teller drawer or sleeve. When the audit was complete, it was discovered Docker's draw/sleeve was short a total of $24,001. Victim #1 Bank also indicated they do not have a policy in place that allows customers to retrieve money from their accounts using code words.

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