Robbers involved in huge heist were victims, too

Thursday, January 5, 2012 | 5:40 p.m. CST

ST. LOUIS — It turns out the robbers involved in what is believed to be the biggest heist ever in St. Louis were victimized, too — at least $1.3 million of the $6.6 million taken in the ATM Solutions robbery in 2010 was re-stolen.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that information about the re-stolen money came out Wednesday during a federal court hearing, when three women who were not part of the actual robbery pleaded guilty to peripheral roles in the crime.

During the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Mehan said LaTunya Wright was entrusted to help hide at least $2 million of the money in a storage unit. Her boyfriend was among the four armed men who robbed ATM Solutions.

But when Wright finished counting the cash later and came up with only $640,000 to $650,000, she realized they were at least $1.3 million short and cried out, "They stole my stolen money," Mehan said.

Fourteen people have now been accused of the robbery, its planning or its aftermath.

Only about half of the $6.6 million has been tracked down, and it appears that all of the $1.3 million re-stolen portion remains missing.

At the hearing on Wednesday, Annkesha Welch, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of transporting stolen currency across state lines. Candi Goodson, 24, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge. Her mother, Cathy Goodson, 50, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

The plea agreements say Welch and Cathy Goodson helped sort some of the stolen money into $20,000 bundles in freezer bags at Cathy Goodson's house and placed them in a storage container. It was taken to Texas and buried, their pleas say.

Wright, Welch and Candi Goodson eventually retrieved the money and took it to Atlanta, where it was hidden in a storage facility and later recovered by the FBI.

The three women will be sentenced in March. Welch and Candi Goodson face up to two years in prison. Cathy Goodson could get up to six months.

Joseph V. Neill, the lawyer for Welch, said, "She was a good person but made a mistake."

Lawyers for Candi and Cathy Goodson declined comment.

Wright pleaded guilty in April of conspiracy and transporting stolen property, and awaits sentencing.

Three of the robbers have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced to terms ranging from 19 1/2 years to 32 years. The fourth suspected robber has pleaded not guilty.

Several peripheral players have also pleaded guilty.

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