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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Former Bank Teller Convicted Of Bank Fraud And Identity Theft

BIG STONE GAP, VIRGINIA -- Following a two-day jury trial in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Big Stone Gap, a former bank teller was convicted of 13 counts related to bank fraud, bank embezzlement, credit card fraud and identity theft.

Amber Renee Franks, 33, of Coeburn, Virginia, was indicted in October 2010 for conduct related to the defrauding of BB&T Bank and Citibank, South Dakota, N.A. Tuesday afternoon at approximately 4:00 p.m., a jury returned guilty verdicts against her on all thirteen counts, namely, six counts of bank fraud, four counts of embezzlement by a bank employee, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of credit card fraud.

According to evidence presented at trial by Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee, between November 2007 and January 2008, Amber Renee Franks fraudulently used two Citibank credit card accounts in the name of her adopted father and her deceased mother in order to obtain funds in excess of $4,500.

Franks forged balance transfer checks using the name of her deceased mother and made online balance transfers to pay her own credit card bills, her automobile loans, and her husband’s credit card bills. Additional evidence presented demonstrated that Franks was a part-time teller at the Coeburn, VA, BB&T branch from January 2007 to June 22, 2009. During June 2009, she conducted four cash withdrawals from the account of an elderly customer and his deceased wife. Franks drafted fraudulent documents stating that the deceased account holder had authorized the cash withdrawals that totaled $31,975. A financial investigation by the United States Secret Service determined that Franks deposited $14,650 of this money into her own bank accounts to pay off loans and that she and her husband used $5,000 of this money to purchase an automobile.

The defendant faces a potential maximum sentence of up to 319 years imprisonment and $10,250,000.00 in fines. She also faces a mandatory minimum term of two years imprisonment.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service and the Coeburn Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated April 14, 2015