CHICAGO (CBS) — Federal authorities say a south suburban bank employee almost pulled off his complex plan to steal $40,000 and jet out of the country with it, but until he neglected to disclose the money at customs in the Dominican Republic.
Blazej M. Wasilewski, 25, of the 10300 block of South Alta Drive in Palos Hills, worked Blazej M. Wasilewski, 25, of 10361 S. Alta Dr. in Palos Hills, worked as an assistant manager at a Chase Bank branch at 18701 S. Halsted St. in south suburban Glenwood, according to the FBI.
He was charged in a criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of bank embezzlement.
Authorities say Wasilewski used a complex scheme to get his hands on the money. The complaint says he manually turned off the bank’s electrical power on Friday evening as the bank was closing, then returned early the next morning and used his keys and alarm codes to enter the bank, deactivate the alarm and open the vault.
An audit of the bank by employees on Saturday morning determined that one teller cash dispenser was missing while a second had been forced open and the contents removed, the FBI said.
In all, $39,765 was unaccounted for and believed taken by Wasilewski, whose bank-issued entry key was found inside the bank.
Bank personnel also determined Wasilewski’s code had been used to enter the branch and open the vault, and attempts by the bank manager to reach him Saturday morning were unsuccessful.
The FBI was able to trace Wasilewski to O’Hare International Airport, where records showed he had boarded a flight to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic on Saturday morning.
He was arrested Saturday night by Dominican National Police officers as he attempted to enter the country on a commercial airlines flight, which originated in Chicago, the release said.
He was in possession of $39,765 in U.S. currency, which he failed to declare to Dominican Customs officials.
As of Tuesday, Wasilewski remained in Dominican custody, awaiting extradition to Chicago. Once returned, he will be formally charged in U.S. District Court in Chicago. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.