Former NYPD Officer Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 78 Months in Prison for Armed Bank Robbery

For Immediate Release
November 12, 2009 United States Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York
Contact: (212) 637-2600

amd_torresFormer NYPD Officer Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 78 Months in Prison for Armed Bank Robbery

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that former New York City Police Officer CHRISTIAN TORRES was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 78 months in prison for armed bank robbery, bank larceny, and conspiracy to defraud a bank. United States District Judge LAURA TAYLOR SWAIN ordered twelve of the 78 months imposed today to run consecutively to the 121-month sentence previously imposed on TORRES for a separate armed bank robbery, and a related firearms offense, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

According to the Indictment and Complaints previously filed in the case, as well as statements made during today’s and prior court proceedings:

Between June 2007 and April 2008, TORRES and his former girlfriend, CHRISTINA DASRATH, a teller at the Sovereign Bank branch at 57 Avenue A, New York, New York, conspired to defraud the bank by staging a phony bank robbery. Specifically, on June 8, 2007, TORRES entered the bank and handed DASRATH, at her teller station, a note directing her to “empty both drawers” and threatening to “start shooting.” DASRATH then gave TORRES $16,305 from her teller drawer, a portion of which TORRES later shared with her.

On November 16, 2007, making use of bank security information DASRATH had provided to him, TORRES came back to rob the same bank. As employees were opening the branch he approached them and ordered them to open the door. When one of the employees refused, TORRES threatened to kill the employee and pulled back the side of his jacket to reveal the black handle of a gun that was tucked into his waistband. Once inside the bank, TORRES ordered the employees not to look at him, to leave their cell phones on a table, and to open the vault. TORRES then ordered one of the employees to tie up the legs of another employee. After retrieving latex gloves from a duffel bag he was carrying and putting on a black ski mask, TORRES instructed one of the employees to put money inside the bag. TORRES then ordered the employees into the vault, took their keys, and told them to stay in the vault for ten minutes, adding that if one of them looked at him funny, he would be back. TORRES absconded with approximately $102,000, a portion of which he later shared with DASRATH.

CHRISTINA DASRATH previously pleaded guilty to bank fraud, bank larceny, and false statements charges on September 5, 2008 and was sentenced by Judge SWAIN to 30 months in prison on January 9, 2009.

Mr. BHARARA also praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Affairs Bureau of the Police Department of the City of New York.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorney DANIEL STEIN is in charge of the prosecution.

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