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Crime & Courts

Troopers: Bank employee stole money from account of dead Palmer man

  • Author: Zaz Hollander
  • Updated: April 18, 2018
  • Published April 18, 2018

PALMER — A bank employee emptied the account of a Palmer man who disappeared in October and was found dead the next month, Alaska State Troopers say.

Keith Ben Aumavae. (Photo provided by Jenna Aumavae)

Keith Aumavae, 30, went missing from his apartment near Palmer, prompting an increasingly desperate search from relatives who said he suffered from multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia.

Aumavae's body was found in his car at the base of a 100-foot cliff off Knik-Goose Bay Road in November. Troopers said at the time they discovered no sign of foul play.

Aumavae's family found suspicious activity in his Alaska USA Federal Credit Union account in February, according to his sister, Aumisa Roe. Bank statements revealed 30-year-old Susana Lepou "transferred all his funds into her personal account in December," Roe wrote in a message.

Aumavae's bank account held just over $1,000, according to troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters. Lepou cleaned out the account, Peters said.

There's no indication Lepou knew Aumavae, troopers said. She is no longer employed at the bank.

An investigation continues and more charges are expected, Peters said.

"We know of one additional victim at this time," she said Wednesday.

Alaska USA can't comment about specifics regarding accounts and wouldn't confirm that Lepou was terminated, according to an email from spokesman Dan McCue.

The credit union "promptly investigates fraudulent activity and if it is determined that a transaction was not authorized by the member, the account is fully reimbursed," McCue said.

An investigation into this incident revealed the fraudulent activity "was isolated to a single member account," he said.

Roe said the alleged crime has stripped the family of their ability to focus on mourning Aumavae's loss, "and she has left us with more heartache and questions."

Lepou was arrested Tuesday afternoon on three counts of second-degree theft and two counts of criminal use of a computer. She was taken to the Anchorage jail and scheduled for an arraignment hearing Wednesday afternoon.

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