DC’s GALA Hispanic Theatre hit by cybercrime, robbed of thousands | #cybercrime | #infosec

Washington D.C.’s Gala Hispanic Theatre, which features productions in Spanish and English, was a victim of cybercrime, according to the co-founder of the theatre.

Rebecca Medrano, who taught Amy Carter and her class Spanish at Stevens Elementary went on to found, with her husband Hugh Medrano, D.C.’s GALA Hispanic Theatre company, one of the premier Latino theaters in the U.S. (WTOP/Jack Moore)

D.C.’s GALA Hispanic Theatre, which features productions in Spanish and English, was a victim of cybercrime, according to Rebecca Medrano, co-founder of the theatre.

The theatre’s accountant was sending a “standard wire transfer” to a properties designer in New York when she saw it, Medrano said.

A screen message popped up saying the accountant had been locked out and someone else was in the system. Medrano said the accountant knew instantly that fraud had taken place and contacted the bank.

“The strange thing,” Medrano said, was “that Citibank couldn’t stop it, and also, they never notified us.”

She added that the theatre was told recovering the over $250,000 in funds could take anywhere from 90 days to eight months. “By then, GALA will be dead,” they wrote in a post on X.

Citi declined to comment when contacted by WTOP and, through a spokesperson, said the bank is investigating the situation.

“We filled out a police report, an FBI report,” Medrano said.

The loss comes as the theatre is in rehearsal for a production, “Las Hermanas Palacios,” or “The Palacios Sisters” in English, due to open next month.

Medrano said, despite the loss, “We will open, the show must go on!”

She explained that GALA has a message up on its website explaining the situation, and that as of midday Friday, “We’ve raised over $20,000 already.”

The emergency fund is helping make the continuation of GALA’s work possible, Medrano said.

“We are on schedule and we want to thank the community for their love and support,” she said.

Medrano says “Las Hermanas Palacios” blends the story of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” with modern history, using the story of three sisters from Cuba arriving in the “tumultuous” Miami of the 1980s.

“It’s a beautiful story,” Medrano said.

“It’s going to be a wonderful play and we hope you all come,” she said in English, adding in Spanish, that everyone is welcome: “Ustedes, sus familias, y sus amigos. Muchisimas gracias.”

Information on how you can help the emergency fund is online. Info on the next production, and how to buy tickets, is also online.

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