Key Bank was one of the banks victimized by a Juneau man who was sentenced Tuesday to two-and-a-half years in prison for stealing nearly $580,000 multiple banks and credit unions between 2020 and 2022. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)

Key Bank was one of the banks victimized by a Juneau man who was sentenced Tuesday to two-and-a-half years in prison for stealing nearly $580,000 multiple banks and credit unions between 2020 and 2022. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)

Former Juneau armored guard sentenced to 2½ years for stealing from banks, credit unions

Austin Nolan Dwight Rutherford, 29, convicted of stealing nearly $580,000 between 2020 and 2022.

A Juneau man who pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $580,000 from three banks and two federal credit unions while serving as an armed transport guard was sentenced Tuesday to two-and-a-half years in prison, according to a statement released Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Anchorage.

Austin Nolan Dwight Rutherford, 29, faced a maximum of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1 million and up to life on supervised release. He pleaded guilty in June to federal charges of theft, embezzlement and misapplication of funds by a person connected in a capacity with a bank and credit union.

[Juneau man pleads guilty to nearly $580,000 bank fraud]

Rutherford, an armed transport guard for Axiom Armored Transport from January 2019 to March 2022, was transferred to the company’s Juneau branch in March 2020 and started stealing funds around that time, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. The company serviced banks such as U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Key Bank and Alaska USA Federal Credit Union.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Anchorage field office.

“An Axiom security camera recorded Rutherford taking a large amount of cash from Axiom property and into his personal vehicle, where he drove away,” the statement released Wednesday notes. “Bank records later showed that the defendant made multiple cash deposits into his personal bank account totaling over $338,000 and used the money for personal benefit.”

“The defendant was terminated in March 2022 but continued to make large cash deposits into his bank accounts through May 2022. An internal Axiom audit determined that Rutherford stole a total of $579,400 in bank and credit union funds.”

As part of his plea deal, Rutherford agreed to pay back the stolen funds. He will also be required to pay more than $86,000 in additional restitution claims for expenses related to Axiom’s investigation into Rutherford’s actions and serve five years of supervised release.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

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