A Lancaster man who once worked as a teller at a bank branch inside a Valencia grocery store has been formally charged with two felony counts of theft from an elder adult.
Daniel Welsh, 31, of Lancaster, arrested June 5, was charged by prosecutors and arraigned Friday, Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told The Signal Wednesday.
Welsh was ordered to appear back in court July 24.
On the day he was arraigned, detectives Michael Marino or Sergeant David Chambers with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau held a news conference seeking the public’s help in identifying any additional victims in a Santa Clarita Valley-based investigation.
Marino said he believes there are other victims of theft in the SCV.
In November, 2016, detectives were alerted about a bank employee suspected of theft, the detectives revealed in a news release.
Internal investigators from a United States-based, top-ten-ranked banking institution discovered that, between December, 2015, and April, 2016, one of the tellers at a bank branch located inside of a grocery store was possibly stealing funds from elderly bank customers.
The employee was questioned about the loss, but denied any responsibility. The employee was terminated and bank officials notified law enforcement, detectives revealed during their news conference.
With full cooperation from bank officials throughout the investigation, two victims and a loss of over $180,000 were identified.
“It is believed the suspect acted alone in these crimes and detectives believe there may be additional victims,” Deputy Lillian Peck Marino wrote in a news release.
Welsh worked as a customer service associate at a banking facility located in the 23800 block of Copperhill Drive, Valencia, she said.
While the bank and store were not identified, there is a U.S. Bank inside the Albertsons grocery store located on that block at 23850 Copperhill Dive.
While working in a bank teller capacity, Welsh allegedly targeted elderly customers, whom he groomed over time by befriending them and gaining their trust.
“Under the guise of helpful assistance, he contacted the victims in areas away from the branch facility and used the trust he gained to manipulate their bank accounts,” Peck said.
Welsh allegedly withdrew large amounts of the victims’ money without their knowledge or consent, preying on those from the senior citizen community who only needed a bit of extra assistance and were betrayed.
Detectives arrest Welsh near his home in Lancaster on June 5.
If you have any information about this investigation or believe you were a victim of fraud at the hands of Suspect Welsh, please contact Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau Detective Michael Marino or Sergeant David Chambers at 661-471-1580.
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