Leader in Bank Fraud Scheme Sentenced to over 5 Years in Prison

October 15, 2008

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Aiah Momoi Gbondo, age 30, of Silver Spring, Maryland, today to 61 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, in a scheme to withdraw more than a half million dollars 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 Gbondo to pay restitution of $520,000.

According to his guilty plea, from October 2005 through March 2006, Gbondo conspired with others to obtain the names and bank account information of certain account holders, obtained false identification documents bearing the names of the victim account holders, and then impersonated those victim account holders at various bank branches in order to conduct unauthorized transactions on those customers’ accounts. For example, beginning in October 2005, Gbondo impersonated a bank customer with initials M.D. and made a number of unauthorized and fraudulent withdrawals from M.D.’s account, often using as identification a counterfeit Maryland driver’s license in M.D.’s name. In total, Gbondo and his co-conspirators fraudulently withdrew more than $239,900 from M.D.'s account.

Gbondo and his co-conspirators obtained the personal identifying information and bank account information of at least six other bank customers and used forged or counterfeit identification documents to impersonate these victims, resulting in a total loss to the bank of $520,000.

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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