Police seek computers in Vail Valley bank scam
Vail Valley, CO Colorado
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – The May 8 discovery of money missing from several Vail Valley, Colorado homeowner’s association bank accounts is still under investigation.
The stolen money is already out of the country, said Avon Police Lt. Greg Daly – which is why the FBI is involved in the investigation. Daly said the police and FBI are getting warrants and subpoenas for the 11 computers that were used as part of the scam sometime next week. He said the people who own the computers likely have no idea their computers were hacked.
Daly said the subpoenas will allow investigators to talk to the 11 computers’ owners to see if they can provide any more leads. The subpoenas will also allow investigators to talk to Internet service providers to find out more details about each computer, he said.
“(The computers) are considered investigative leads,” Daly said.
Bold Real Estate Solutions is the company that manages the accounts from which the money was taken. Onie Bolduc, Bold’s president, is still working with investigators and the company is doing its own investigation into the thefts. Bolduc said the company is still contacting many of its other account holders who were not affected to let them know their money is safe.
“It proves that if you’re connected to the Internet, you’re not immune – even in a happy little valley,” he said.
Bolduc said Bold Real Estate Solutions was not immune to the theft, either.
“We lost money as well,” he said.
At least two board members from two of the homeowner’s associations that lost money are angry because they said the bank where they had the accounts isn’t insuring the money. A federal banking regulation called Regulation E protects consumers against electronic transfer thefts, but the bank is apparently claiming that business accounts don’t count as consumers.
“If I thought they weren’t going to take care of it, I would have put (the money) in my mattress,” said one source, who wants to remain anonymous until the homeowner’s association has tried every possibility to get its money back. “If they were not going to insure our money from being protected, then they should have a big sign on the front door – that shouldn’t be in the fine print.”
The theft happened because of false job advertisements on the Internet, Daly said.
Bogus jobs were offered through legitimate-looking Web sites and once people accepted the job offers, money was transferred out of these homeowner’s association accounts and into the person’s account. The “innocent pawns,” Daly said, were then asked to transfer that money to overseas accounts.
“An illegal criminal organization somehow intruded on security systems and were able to access bank accounts within a local bank,” Daly said last week.
Daly said the only reason the Avon Police Department is commenting on the case is because it doesn’t believe any of the suspects involved are local.
“The difference in this case is because we firmly believe the perpetrators are located outside the area,” he said.
Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Vail Valley’s real estate market has long been an unusual one, with very expensive sales accounting for a large share of the market’s dollar volume. That means a few sales can have a large impact on volume.