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  • Writer's pictureRobin Lyons

The Gambler

Armored trucks - they’re big, they look heavy, and the guards look all-business. Apparently they’re not as secure as you might think.

Here’s the scene on a chilly November day in Montana. In Helena, the armored truck employees load their truck with bags of money and head to Missoula—about 125 miles.

In Missoula, the Helena crew met a Missoula crew and transferred money to their truck. The new crew stopped at banks and ATMs around Missoula, leaving the truck locked but unattended. And then they were on their way to Kalispell, another 120+ miles.

When the crew arrived in Kalispell they realized they were short three bags of money totaling $390,000.

The armored truck company investigated and couldn’t identify who stole the money. All the employees who touched the money that day denied knowing what happened when interviewed by law enforcement.

When the FBI and Secret Service assisted in the investigation, they could watch the employees’ financial activity. Their patience and determination paid off. A few months after the robbery, one employee in particular who no longer worked for the armored truck business began showing a sudden uptick in ‘casino winnings.’ His bank account went from under $1,000 to more than $160,000 in one day.

The employee slowly squandered large sums of money on expensive personal items, gambling (loses), and a trip to France.

Four years after the robbery, the ex-employee was arrested. The case took another two years to go to trial. After four days, the federal jury found him guilty of interstate transportation of stolen property and money laundering. #robbery #armoredtruck

A judge sentenced him to 30 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release.

Be sure to email me if you hear of a true-crime you think would be good in a book. I’ll research it, share it and possibly use it one of my novels.

Source: Department of Justice, Missoulian

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