PORTLAND — A Portland family made off with nearly $4 million by staging robberies of armored cars, but it didn't make them happy, prosecutors said.
On Wednesday, the three members of the Cabello family were sentenced, after the mother and son cooperated with the government and testified that the father masterminded the thefts.
Despite the haul from three robberies over 18 years, the Cabellos crammed themselves into a 998-square-foot rental home, worked low-wage jobs, argued over the cash and worried that police would someday knock on their doors, the government said.
Their indulgences included cigars, cookbooks and a used Hummer SUV, the Oregonian reported.
"They were essentially miserable," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Edmonds.
The father, Archie Cabello, 65, worked for armored car companies during the thefts.
The first two were in Milwaukee, Wis., in the 1990s. In one, Cabello, working as an armored car driver, gave nearly $158,000 to his wife, Marian, and pretended he was robbed, prosecutors said.
Three years later, the father handcuffed son Vincent, a shipping and receiving clerk at an armored car company, to make it appear the son was the victim, and made off with $730,000 from a vault.
The family moved to Portland, and Archie Cabello worked first for a shipping company but then took a pay cut to drive for Oregon Armored Car.
In December 2005, the family faked the robbery of $3 million and stashed the money in a storage box in Bellevue, prosecutors said.
FBI agents said they kept an eye on the family, learning about the big-money heists in Milwaukee, but the Cabellos laid low.
"I think Archie's goal was to fly in under the radar," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Claire M. Fay.
After Internal Revenue Service agents examined the family's records, the Cabellos were accused in 2010 of conspiracy to steal and possess bank money and financial and tax crimes. The authorities said the family converted cash into money orders to pay off credit cards they took out under aliases.
More than a year later Vincent Cabello agreed to cooperate with the government and led agents to nearly $2 million hidden in Bellevue.
All three have pleaded guilty.
In one court hearing, with Archie Cabello serving as his own lawyer, Vincent Cabello told him, "I don't trust you, and I don't want anything more to do with you."
At sentencing Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones sentenced Archie Cabello to 20 years in federal prison -- "if you live that long."
Marian Cabello, 59, was sentenced to 15 months but is likely to be released in weeks because of the time she has already served. Vincent Cabello, 40, who took college classes and got engaged while out on pretrial release, drew an 18-month sentence.