2007-01-19 / Front Page

Teller Taps Till At North Fork Bank

By Howard Schwach


The North Fork Bank branch at Beach 116 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, where bank teller Daniel Lucas allegedly took $6,200 from his cash drawer to help a friend in need.
The North Fork Bank branch at Beach 116 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, where bank teller Daniel Lucas allegedly took $6,200 from his cash drawer to help a friend in need. You've heard of Robinhood - call this guy Robbin' Bank.

Police arrested another allegedly crooked teller in Rockaway Park - at North Fork Bank (NFB) this time - after he stole thousands in cash, which he later told investigators was for a friend in financial straits.

Daniel Lucas, a 21-year-old teller at the NFB branch at 116-01 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, was arrested Monday, January 8, after his cash drawer came up $6,200 short, according to court records.

A spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said this week that Lucas admitted to bank manager Kevin O'Mealy that he had taken the money to help out an unidentified "friend in need."

The Wave reported last week that on January 3, Osnah Loncke, 23, a personal finance executive with the Washington Mutual Bank branch on Beach 116 Street was indicted for signing a Rockaway resident's name and illegally withdrawing $1,450 from that resident's account over a recent three month period.

A source familiar with the industry told The Wave that banks constantly monitor for crooked tellers but that they often persist despite the blatant safeguards designed to catch them. The source said banks aggressively weed out thieves but also try to do so without making their customers feel like their money isn't safe.

Lucas was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on January 11 on one count of grand larceny in the third degree, a charge that could bring up to seven years in prison if he's convicted, according to the district attorney's office. He was released on his own recognizance pending his next hearing date, which was set for March 6.

Loncke was also released on his own recognizance for a court date of February 13.

Both O'Mealy and Lucas' attorney, Lisa Saltzman of Queens Law Associates, declined to comment on his case.

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