A former Wells Fargo bank employee and his friend, both accused of stealing money from elderly and deceased bank customers, pleaded not guilty in a San Francisco courtroom Tuesday.
David Gedarevich, 25, of San Francisco and Aleksandr Zima, 40, of Carmichael, are both charged with conspiracy, grand theft, embezzlement and money laundering involving more than $800,000, according to prosecutors.
Gedarevich was arrested in San Ysidro on Jan. 14. Sheriff’s deputies in Sacramento County arrested Zima on Jan. 26.
Their arrest follows an investigation that uncovered a scheme to launder and embezzle money from the bank accounts of elderly and deceased Wells Fargo customers, prosecutors said.
The bank’s fraud investigators brought the case to the attention of San Francisco police after noticing that suspicious transactions were being performed by Gedarevich, who worked at the Wells Fargo located at 1160 Grant Ave., according to district attorney’s office spokesman Max Szabo.
Gedarevich used his position as a bank employee to allow his co-conspirator, Zima, to access bank accounts belonging to elderly and deceased customers. The pair then transferred more than $800,000 between, and out of, the victims’ accounts, prosecutors said.
“Not all bank robbers wield guns,” District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement. “Across the county we are seeing an increasing number of cases where the crooks are just on the other side of the counter.”
Gedarevich and Zima are currently out of custody on $150,000 bail and remain on supervised pretrial release.
Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido said Gedarevich has not worked for the company since 2013 and that Wells Fargo is cooperating with San Francisco police in their investigation.
Pulido said the affected customers were made whole and did not suffer a financial loss as a result of the alleged crimes.