Two women arrested in connection with $1 million stolen from USAA customers’ bank accounts

Patrick Danner

Houston Chronicle


Nov. 30—SAN ANTONIO — Two Louisiana women have been arrested in connection with the theft of more than $1 million from USAA customers.

Investigators in Shreveport said one of the women used her position at Teleperformance — a multinational company that handles inbound calls from USAA members — to gain access to USAA customers’ bank account information.

The woman, ZarRajah Watkins, allegedly sold the account information to Destane Glass and others who used various tactics to pilfer acount holders’ money, the Shreveport Police Department said last week.

Also last week, USAA reported a data breach incident it said occurred Oct. 24. The San Antonio insurer and financial services company said it was unrelated to the Louisiana case.

In Shreveport, police said, Glass used USAA customers’ money to buy a home, expensive cars and other lavish items. She paid cash in October for a home that had been listed for $639,000, according to a report by

On Nov. 22, she was charged with 65 counts of identity theft

Court records show Glass previously had been arrested in Caddo Parish on nine counts of misdemeanor theft and two counts of felony theft, the television station reported. She pleaded guilty to one charge of felony theft in March, received a suspended sentence and was placed on probation.

Watkins was charged with 175 counts of identity theft after she was taken into custody Nov. 17.

The women, both 21, are being held at the Caddo Correctional Center.

The Caddo-Shreveport Financial Crimes Task Force investigators began a probe into the alleged scheme in September. More arrests are expected.

” USAA is aware of the arrests and has been working with law enforcement to resolve this case,” company spokesman Bradley Russell said in an email. “We take member security and trust very seriously and are working directly with impacted members to make sure that any impact or inconvenience to them is minimized.”

He declined to say how many members were affected because of the ongoing investigation.

Teleperformance, based in France, provides customer care, technical support, customer acquisition and other services to various companies. It has an operation in Shreveport.

The Louisiana case marks the latest headache for USAA Federal Savings Bank.

In the past couple of years, USAA Bank has had to beef up its risk management and regulatory compliance after regulators levied penalties for violations of bank regulations.

In March, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency levied a combined $200 million in fines against USAA Bank.

FinCEN reported that the bank failed to accurately report thousands of suspicious transactions by its customers — including those using personal accounts for apparent criminal activity.

The bank had to pay only $140 million because FinCEN agreed to credit the OCC’s $60 million fine.

In 2020, the OCC fined the bank $85 million for “violations of law” that were “part of a pattern of misconduct.” The bank neither admitted nor denied violating banking laws.

And in 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau directed the bank to pay a $3.5 million penalty and $12 million in restitution to settle charges that it violated banking laws.

Then last week, USAA reported to the Massachusetts’ Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation that two USAA members in that state were affected by a data breach.

It remains unclear if any USAA members in other states were affected by the breach.

The company said members’ accounts were accessed and personal information was viewed by an unauthorized party. The information included names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers, account numbers and online credentials.

“We are examining measures we can take to help prevent similar incidents in the future,”

Judith M. Titera, USAA’s chief privacy officer, said in a recent letter to one person affected. “We deeply regret that this incident occurred and take the privacy of your personal information very seriously.”

USAA advises customers to examine all account transactions and statements. It said any suspicious activity should be reported to USAA and any other financial institutions.

In her letter, Titera said USAA is offering those affected a two-year Experian IdentityWorks membership, which provides credit monitoring, identity restoration and $1 million of identity theft insurance.

A California consumer law firm, Cole & Van Note, said it is investigating the breach. It said “the private information of a massive number of people may have been stolen in the hacking of its information network” — attributing the information to USAA.

USAA has more than 13 million members comprising current and former members of the military and their families. It employs about 38,000 people, half of whom work in San Antonio.


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