The Harris County District Attorney’s Office filed a second felony charge against a now-former Bank of America employee who prosecutors say tricked young women into handing over their phones so he could steal their intimate photos.
A Bank of America spokesperson said the company fired Juan Esteban Ramirez after two customers, both 20-year-old women, filed police reports against him.
The prosecutor on the case told KPRC 2: “It’s highly unlikely that these are the only two victims.”
“What I think is particularly dangerous about Mr. Ramirez’s behavior is that he is creating victims that are unsuspecting,” said Assistant District Attorney Keaton Forcht. “Mr. Ramirez, in this case, is placed in a position of trust as a bank employee, and he’s exploiting that trust.”
The first alleged victim told police she walked into the Bank of America at 7770 Highway 6 North in Houston on September 14, 2020, to get a new debit card.
“She was unsure how to look up her Bank of America account information. The defendant asked her to use her phone to look up her bank account number. The victim unlocked her cellphone and handed the cellphone to the defendant,” according to court documents.
That’s when Ramirez allegedly went into the victim’s photos app and sent himself “approximately 16 images of the victim nude or wearing underwear only” and then deleted the texts.
“It appears as if he was trying to cover his tracks,” said Forcht.
But after she left the bank, the victim noticed the sent messages on her smartwatch and filed a police report.
The second victim and her parents walked into the same Bank of America the same week with questions about her account and Ramirez allegedly stole intimate photos from her phone in the same way, and then went a step further.
“In this case, he actually texts that victim from his personal cell phone and threatens her and says he has those pictures from her cell phone,” Forcht said.
“She felt threatened by the way he was speaking to her and felt as though he expected something from her in exchange for the privacy of those texts.”
Investigators gathered phone records, surveillance video, and other evidence over the following months.
In January, the DA’s office filed a felony charge of unlawful disclosure of intimate visual material against Ramirez and he was arrested.