News

Bank’s Head Teller, Phony Armored Car Courier and Two Other Defendants Charged in Federal Court with Bank Robbery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 30, 2008

Greenbelt, Maryland - Four defendants were charged by criminal complaint yesterday with conspiracy to steal $574,500 from BB&T Bank on January 9, 2008, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein:

Elizabeth K. Tarke, age 40, of Olney, Maryland;
David Paul Mbom, age 38, of Catonsville, Maryland;
Robert T. Tataw, age 42; and
Ernest Njinte Yossa, age 43, of Silver Spring, Maryland.

According to court documents, on January 9, 2008 an unknown male wearing a black uniform entered BB&T Bank on Georgia Avenue in Wheaton, Maryland posing as a security guard from AT Systems, an armored carrier that services the bank. Tarke, the bank’s head teller, allegedly met the man, who signed a sheet used by the AT Systems carriers. Tarke then released $574,500 to the man who left the bank. The next day, the official AT courier came to the bank for a scheduled money pick up. The courier was advised that the pick up had occurred the day before. The courier informed the bank that there should not have been a pick up the previous day and verified with his supervisors that AT Systems did not receive any deposits from the bank the previous day.

In subsequent investigative interviews, Tarke advised that the man wore the AT Systems uniform which included an AT patch, badge and identity card. Two bank employees, however, advised that the man did not wear any AT markings and did not appear to be an AT carrier. They did observe the man wearing a gun holster and carrying a semi-automatic handgun.

On January 11, 2008 Montgomery County Police observed Mbom leave Tarke’s residence in a vehicle driven by Tataw, and drive to Yossa’s residence. They saw Tataw walk to a car parked nearby and carry a large duffel bag from the car to the rear of the block where Yossa’s apartment was located. Law enforcement agents followed Tataw when he left the apartment with a shoulder bag and was driven to a hotel room in Tacoma Park. FBI agents arrested him and found $54,000.

Law enforcement also followed Mbom when he left Yossa’s apartment in a separate vehicle. Montgomery County Police stopped the vehicle and arrested Mbom. Officers found a piece of paper in his wallet on which three numbers were written which totaled $574,500, the amount of money taken from the bank. The $574,500 had been sealed by the bank into three bags. The three handwritten numbers equaled the amount of money in each bag. Officers also found a reference to Yossa’ apartment address and a store receipt for a black combat hat, security badge and gun holster.

Montgomery County Police searched Yossa’ apartment on January 12, 2008 and recovered $74,000.

The defendants face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and are expected to have their initial appearances in federal district court tomorrow, January 31, 2008.

A complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Montgomery County Police Department for their investigative work and expressed appreciation to Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy and his office for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Bryan Foreman, who is prosecuting the case.

 

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