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Ex-teller sentenced in embezzlement case

Valerie Lujan, a former bank teller, was sentenced in Los Alamos District Court Wednesday for embezzling more than $20,000 from Zia Credit Union in April of 2009. According to court documents, she was working as at teller at the time she committed her crimes.
Judge Sheri Raphaelson sentenced her to a conditional discharge with five years of supervised probation, the length of which can be shortened if she pays back the money to Zia before her probation is up. According to First Judicial Assistant District Attorney Kent Wahlquist, Lujan has to pay back $32,914.95 to Zia Credit Union.
Raphaelson reminded her that if she violated the terms of her probation she could be sentenced to nine years in prison. She also reminded Lujan that the charge against her won’t appear on her record, as long as she follows through with her probation and does not commit any other crimes while on probation and paying back the money to Zia.
Lujan, who lives in Española, remained quiet through her sentencing, letting her attorney, Stephen Aarons do most of the talking. However, she made a statement in court shortly after she was sentenced, apologizing to her former employer for taking the money.

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