GEORGE E. B. HOLDING
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - October 22, 2007
BROTHERS PLEAD GUILTY TO SCHEME TO DEFRAUD BANKS
OF $1.2 MILLION
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that in federal court today ERIC DAVORNE BAERGA, of Charlotte, North Carolina, and IVAN MALIK BAERGA, of Delaware, plead guilty before United States District Court Judge James C. Dever, III.
A Criminal Indictment filed by the United States Attorney’s Office on July 18, 2007, charged both brothers with conspiring and aiding and abetting in a scheme to defraud Branch Banking and Trust, Wachovia Bank, Bank of America and Suntrust Bank by depositing fraudulent checks into various bank accounts and later withdrawing the money from ATMs with the use of debit cards.
From April 2005, to July 2007, the defendants solicited individuals, or recruited others to solicit individuals, to provide their debit card and account information. Most, if not all, of the account holders were young college students whom were told they could make between $500 to $1,000 by letting someone use their account to deposit checks.
Once the debit card and account information were received, some unknown individual(s) would deposit fraudulent checks into the accounts. The banks would credit the accounts with the total amount of the checks deposited allowing the customer access to funds which had not yet cleared the bank processing centers.
Between the time the fraudulent checks were deposited and the banks realized that they were fraudulent, the defendants, the account holders (at the defendants request), or some other unknown individual would withdraw the funds using a debit card, ATMs, or counter/teller checks. Over $1.2 million in fraudulent checks were deposited into the various accounts.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the United States Secret Service. Felice McConnell Corpening is prosecuting the case for the government.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.