Former ship’s purser guilty of embezzlement

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A former ship’s purser was found guilty of embezzlement Monday following a four-day trial.

Ismael Cuario Estrada, 66, is facing up to 10 years behind bars as well as a fine of $250,000 when he is sentenced in June.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, court records show Estrada was a retired Navy Sailor who joined the Military Sealift Command as a ship’s purser. In 2006, he joined the crew of the USNS Arctic, where he stayed until March 2013 when he was ordered to be purser on USNS Laramie.

Estrada tried to stay on the Arctic, but was ordered to leave for the other ship.

“Contrary to the Captain’s orders, Estrada did not do the normal cash verification and placement of the ship’s money in the bank,” a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Instead, he only did the cash verification and left the money in the ship’s vault. A cash verification on April 30, 2013 found that approximately $350,118 was missing from the $691,000 that should have been in the safe in the purser’s office, based on a cash verification that had been performed a month earlier.”

Estrada was ordered off the Laramie and returned to Norfolk, where he was arrested and indicted on the embezzlement charge.


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