FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
DECEMBER 18, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UPPER MARLBORO MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO BANK FRAUD
AND AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT
Impersonated Account Holders to Fraudulently Obtain Over $500,000
Greenbelt, Maryland - Ghislain Nkoto, age 29, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to three counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to defraud a bank and some of its account holders by fraudulently withdrawing and transferring money from their accounts, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to his plea in court today, from at least October 2005 until March 2006, Nkoto and his co-schemers obtained the names and bank account information of at least six account holders with the Bank of America, obtained false identification documents bearing the name(s) of the victim account holders, and then impersonated them at bank branches in order to withdraw or transfer funds of at least $500,000 from the customer accounts.
For example, Nkoto’s co-schemers fraudulently withdrew $15,000 and $17,000, in the form of cashiers checks, from the accounts of two Bank of America customers, using the identifying information of those customers. On January 20, 2006, Nkoto cashed the $15,000 cashier’s check and on January 23, 2006, cashed the $17,000 cashier’s check. On March 29, 2006, Nkoto, using the identifying information of a third Bank of America customer, withdrew $14,500 in the form of a cashier’s check, from that customer’s account.
Nkoto faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for each of the three counts of bank fraud and two years in prison, consecutive to any term of imprisonment imposed, for aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte has scheduled sentencing for April 1, 2008.
Co-defendant Desiree Venn, age 25, of Beltsville, Maryland previously pleaded guilty to bank fraud and co-defendant Aiah Gbondo, age 29, of Silver Spring, Maryland, pleaded guilty to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. No date has been set for their sentencing.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the United States Secret Service for its investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney James A. Crowell, who is prosecuting the case.