HELENA- On Thursday, a Helena man who worked for GardaWorld was convicted by a jury on multiple charges.
John Gregory Alexander Herrin, 30, was accused of taking money stolen from a GardaWorld truck and spending it on gambling and shopping in Las Vegas, day trading and traveling to France according to a release from the Department of Justice.
From the release, the prosecution said that on November 20, 2013, three bags containing $390,000 went missing from a GardaWorld truck.
Employees from Helena initially loaded the money into the truck and drove to Missoula, where they met with Missoula employees and transferred some currency bags to another truck for local delivery.
The release says while in Missoula, Helena employees kept their truck locked, but unattended, several times while servicing banks and ATMs before going to Kalispell.
When the employees arrived in Kalispell, they discovered three bags containing $390,000 were missing.
An internal investigation was launched by the company, however, they were unable to definitively implicate anyone in the theft.
Not long after the theft, Herrin’s financial situation drastically changed. According to the release, Herrin went to Las Vegas twice in January 2014 and again in July 2014.
While in Las Vegas the first time, Herrin stated at a high-end casino and went shopping with a woman.
Herrin made large cash deposits at the casino and paid $22,600 in cash for a watch.
After coming back from his first trip, Herrin deposited a cashier’s check and cash into his checking account totaling $160,870. Herrin told the bank teller he went to Las Vegas with $500 and won $160,000 gambling.
While the bank teller was counting the cash, the release says a Garda courier came into the bank to make a pick-up and Herrin walked away from the counter and sat at an online banking station until the courier left.
On Herrin’s second trip to Las Vegas, the release says his buy-in at the casino was $50,100 cash and he lost $50,000.
Herrin also used a card to buy more than $30,000 in merchandise from luxury retail stores and transferred money from his checking account to pay the card balance.
After his second trip to Las Vegas, Herrin went to his bank with a shoebox full of $20 bills to deposit into his checking account. Herrin told the teller he wasn’t sure how much money was in the box, but that he had “another big score” in Las Vegas and thought he had about $120,000.
While at the bank, Herrin also told the teller he didn’t have a job but was doing some day trading.
During the transaction, a Garda courier entered the bank, Herrin turning his back on the courier as if he was trying not to be seen by the Garda employee.
The release says Herrin started day trading in 2014, opening up an account and depositing $111,100, but had significant losses, which is inconsistent with what he was telling bank employees.
In March of 2014, Herrin and a woman traveled to France, the release saying the trip cost more than $20,000.
In the spring of 2014, Herrin moved to Missouri and enrolled in college. By the fall, Herrin’s financial situation turned poor. Herrin owed $17,753 on his card and in February 2015 his car was repossessed.
During interviews with law enforcement, all GardaWorld employees denied knowledge about and involvement in the disappearance of the $390,000.
One former employee who was also a roommate of Herrin indicated that Herrin showed him a casino check for gambling he appeared to have won in January 2014.
Herrin’s roommate also said employees sometimes left Garda trucks unattended against company policy, and that a broom handle could be used to unlock the trucks and that he had seen Herrin unlock a truck using a broom handle.
While talking to law enforcement, a former companion of Herrin’s said she responded to a Craigslist ad asking for company for a trip to Las Vegas. The woman said Herrin gave her money, took her shopping and bought her a $5,000 Louis Vuitton bag and more than $2,000 in dresses.
John Gregory Alexander Herrin was found guilty by a jury of one count of interstate transportation of stolen property and eight counts of money laundering.
Herrin’s sentencing is set for May 19 and he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.