Oct. 26, 2009
FORMER BANK EMPLOYEE CONVICTED OF BANK FRAUD AND AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT
(HOUSTON) – Juan Rombado, a former Wachovia Bank employee, has been convicted of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft arising from several schemes aimed at defrauding his employer through the theft of customer identities, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Indicted and arrested in August 2009, Rombado pleaded guilty to both counts this morning before United States District Judge Vanessa Gilmore.
Rombado, 46, of Houston, admitted that while employed at the N. Eldridge Parkway branch of Wachovia Bank as a financial specialist between March 2007 through Nov. 23, 2007, he used his position to knowingly execute various schemes to defraud Wachovia Bank to obtain money through check kiting. In this scheme, Rombado unlawfully possessed and used the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of Wachovia Bank’s loan applicants to unlawfully open bank accounts under the name “Corsan Group,” and then wrote checks from the unfunded accounts knowing they had insufficient funds. Rombado deposited the unfunded checks into his personal bank account and immediately withdrew the funds represented by the fraudulent checks, taking advantage of the time elapsed between the unfunded deposits to his personal account and the money being deducted from the fraudulent accounts.
In addition to the check kiting scheme, Rombado used Wachovia Bank’s customers’ identities to apply for and use unauthorized access devices, namely credit cards. During roughly an eight-month period, Rombado obtained in excess of $1,000 through the use of the credit card. Lastly, Rombado used his position at the bank to embezzle funds from Wachovia Bank customers’ accounts by making unauthorized funds transfers from the customers’ accounts to his personal account. Through the execution of this scheme, Rombado took approximately $16,742.75 from the bank.
Judge Gilmore has set sentencing for Feb. 23, 2010. Rombado faces up to 30 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine for the bank fraud conviction. The aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory sentence of two years imprisonment to be served consecutive to the sentence imposed for the bank fraud conviction. Rombado will remain free on a $50 thousand bond pending sentencing.
The charges against Rombado are the result of an investigation conducted by the United States Secret Service and the Houston Area Fraud Task Force. Special Assistant United States Attorney Justo A. Mendez is prosecuting the case.
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