Former Citigroup Vice President Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud for Embezzling More than $22 Million
Gary Foster, a former vice president in Citigroup, Inc.’s treasury finance department, pleaded guilty today to bank fraud arising from his embezzlement of more than $22 million from Citigroup. Foster entered his plea before the Hon. Eric N. Vitaliano, United States District Judge, at the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn.
The guilty plea was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office.
According to the charging documents, between September 2003 and June 2011, Foster first transferred money from various Citigroup accounts to Citigroup’s cash account, then wired the money to his personal bank account at another bank. Foster concealed his thefts by making various false accounting entries to create the appearance that the cash account was in balance and by placing a fraudulent contract or deal number in the reference line of the wire transfer instructions to give the appearance that the wire transfers were actually in support of an existing Citigroup contract. Foster used the money to buy real estate and luxury automobiles, including a Ferrari and a Maserati. The government has restrained real estate purchased by Foster in Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey and seized numerous luxury automobiles and bank accounts that Foster controlled. In total, the value of the seized and restrained property is estimated to be approximately $16 million. Foster will forfeit the property pursuant to his plea agreement.
“The defendant violated his employer’s trust and stole a stunning amount of money over an extended period of time to finance his personal lifestyle,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “We will vigorously investigate and prosecute such conduct and seek to recover as much of the proceeds as possible.”
“Foster exploited his position as a trusted insider to embezzle tens of millions of dollars and to conceal the theft for as long as possible. The FBI is determined to uncover bank larceny in any form,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Fedarcyk.
The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment on the bank fraud charges.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael L. Yaeger and Karen R. Hennigan.
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