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 at the U.S. Port of Entry in San Ysidro on Jan. 14. 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 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 over $800,000 between, and out of, the victims' accounts, prosecutors said.
"Not all bank robbers wield guns," District Attorney George Gascon said. "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.