Conspirator in Bank Fraud Scheme Sentenced to 22 Months in Prison

January 26, 2009

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Adolphe Roland Zoa, age 30, of Bronx, New York, today to 22 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, in a scheme in which conspirators withdrew more than $520,000 from bank accounts by impersonating the true bank account holders, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Messitte also ordered Zoa to pay $68,200 in restitution, the amount of loss attributable to Zoa.

According to his guilty plea, from October 2005 through March 2006, Zoa conspired with others to obtain the names and bank account information of at least six bank customers. They used fraudulent identification documents to impersonate these victims at bank branches in order to withdraw money from those customers’ accounts, resulting in a total loss to the bank of more than $520,000.

For example, beginning in at least February 2006, Zoa impersonated a customer and made a number of unauthorized withdrawals from the customer’s account, often using as identification a counterfeit Maryland driver’s license in the customer’s name. Between March 22 and 27, 2006, Zoa withdrew $68,200 from the customer’s account.

Co-conspirator Aiah Momoi Gbondo, age 30, of Silver Spring, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the same charges and was sentenced to 61 months in prison and ordered to pay $520,000 in restitution. Ghislain Nkoto, age 30, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, pleaded guilty to three counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Nkoto fled to Cameroon and has an international arrest warrant pending. Desiree Venn, age 26, of Beltsville, Maryland pleaded guilty to bank fraud and was sentenced to 75 days in prison.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the United States Secret Service for its investigative work, and commended Assistant United States Attorney James A. Crowell IV, who prosecuted the case.



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