Two Convicted of Bank Larceny Charges Related to Phony Armored Car Courier Heist
Greenbelt, Maryland - David Paul Mbom, age 39, of Catonsville, Maryland, and Robert T. Tataw, age 43, of Windsor Mill, Maryland, were convicted today by a federal jury of bank larceny and 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.
According to evidence presented at the eight day trial, on January 9, 2008 an unknown man 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. Elizabeth Tarke, the bank’s head teller, 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.
Evidence showed that on January 11, 2008 Montgomery County Police observed Mbom leave Tarke’s residence in a vehicle driven by Tataw, and drive to an apartment complex located on Stewart Lane in Silver Spring. They saw Tataw walk to a car parked nearby and carry a large duffel bag from the car to the rear of the complex. 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. Montgomery County Police officers also found $10,200 in the apartment.
Law enforcement also followed Mbom when he left the apartment complex 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 an AT Systems business card and a store receipt for a black combat hat, security badge and gun holster. Tataw had a business card in his wallet from the same store
Montgomery County Police recovered $74,100 from an apartment in the Stewart Lane complex. A witness testified that Mbom had given this money to the person who lived in the apartment to eventually be transferred to a destination in Cameroon.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus has scheduled sentencing for April 20, 2009.
Elizabeth K. Tarke, age 41, of Olney, Maryland pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting bank larceny in connection with the theft and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 20, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.
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 Attorneys Bryan E. Foreman and William D. Moomau, who are prosecuting the case.