Lufkin PD: Former payday loan employee gave out $24K in fraudulent checks

Lufkin PD: Former payday loan employee gave out $24K in fraudulent checks

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the Lufkin Police Department arrested a former employee of Texas Car Title and Payday Loan on Monday in connection to allegations that she created fraudulent loans or paperwork to generate bogus checks that she passed on to others in the amount of $24,578.10.

Lissette Nayely Galvez-Castilleja, 26, of Lufkin, is still being held in the Angelina County jail on a state-jail felony theft between $2,500 and $30,000 charge. No bail amount has been set at this time.

According to the arrest affidavit, an LPD officer was dispatched to the Texas Car Title and Pay Day Loan located at 617 N. Timberland Drive on Oct. 1, 2015 to take a theft report from the business' area manager. The area manager informed the officer that Galvez-Castilleja, a former employee of the business, had made 14 check disbursements to alleged customers from fraudulent accounts in the period from July 25, 2015 to Aug. 31, 2015 in the amount of $16,475.42, the affidavit state.

The area manager also told the officer that Galvez-Castilleja also wrote 12 checks from the business' miscellaneous funds between Sept. 11 and Sept. 30, 2015 for another $8,102.68. The affidavit stated. The area manager said that Galvez-Castilleja justified the checks by saying they were reprints due to paper jams.

According to the affidavit, the area manager noticed a pattern in how the fraudulent accounts were set up.

She told police that several of the loan recipients were the same as the payees on the fraudulent customer accounts. The affidavit stated that Galvez-Castilleja used written-off loans, paid out, and active information to create fraudulent accounts.

A large number of the checks were allegedly written to two people the area manager did not know. She also didn't authorized the writing of the checks, the affidavit stated.

During the course of his investigation, the LPD officer spoke to the woman that many of the checks were written to. The woman told the officer that she and her brother, the other person that many of the checks were written to, had loaned Galvez-Castilleja $9,500 to $10,000 over the course of about three years.

The woman told the LPD officer that Galvez-Castilleja had financial trouble leaving her parents' home in Nacogdoches, the affidavit stated. Galvez-Castilleja would allegedly borrow money from them and promise to pay it back.

During the interview, the woman told the officer that once Galvez-Castilleja started paying her back, she always paid with a check. According to the affidavit, the woman questioned the checks, but Galvez-Castilleja assured her that they were good. Because the woman knew Galvez-Castilleja worked at Texas Car Title and Pay Day Loan, "she didn't think anything else about it."

Later, the officer spoke with Galvez-Castilleja at the police department. At first, she allegedly denied duplicating checking account numbers. She also denied knowing the woman and her brother, whom most of the checks were issued to.

On Nov. 17, 2015, the LPD officer interviewed Galvez-Castilleja again. She gave a written statement in which she declared her innocence. She admitted to knowing the woman and her brother for a long time.

"I said a lot of bad things about this woman because she had threatened me and my children," Galvez-Castilleja said in her statement. "… [D]uring that time I was working at the loan company, and [the woman's brother] said he needed a loan for a big amount of money. I said I couldn't do the loan, and I was instructed to figure it out."

Galvez-Castilleja also claimed in her statement that the man came into the business and filled out the required paperwork for the loan and that she never got any of the money from the loans she issued, the affidavit stated. However, she did allegedly admit to issuing the checks to the woman or her brother without authorization.

In addition, Galvez-Castilleja claimed in her statement that she had been framed and that she didn't owe any money to the woman and her brother and hadn't borrowed any money from them either.

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