Lubbock bank manager admits she participated in embezzlement scheme


LUBBOCK, Texas — Sara Ruth Briones accepted a plea deal in federal court for misprision of a felony. Misprision is another word for concealing.

Court records filed on Monday in Lubbock said Briones was a bank manager for Lubbock National Bank.

Updated Story Link: Former Lubbock bank employee could serve 30 years in prison for embezzlement scheme

Briones admitted that in June, 2018 she was contacted by her sister-in-law Patricia Sanchez Tovar who was an employee of Wells Fargo. Briones admitted that Tovar offered her $3,000 to open an account.

Briones admits that she opened the account in violation of bank policy. Briones admits that Tovar drafted a check for $58,921.75 which ultimately came from a dead person’s bank account at Wells Fargo.

The money was placed under the name of a living person in Dickens.

“Tovar gave the check to Briones to further her embezzlement scheme,” court records said. “Briones directed a subordinate employee to open the account because she knew that opening the account was wrong and Tovar’s conduct was illegal.”

Lubbock National Bank sent a letter to the person in Dickens who immediately contacted LNB and wanted the bank account froze.

Court records said Tovar contacted the person in Dickens and offered $40,000 to release the money. It didn’t work.

The plea deal is still subject to court approval. If approved, Briones will be sentenced at a later date to no more than three years in federal prison. As of Monday, a criminal case against Tovar was still pending.

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