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May 20, 2011

FORMER BANK OFFICER SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON

(HOUSTON) - Juan Rombado, 48, of Houston, has been sentenced to prison for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore sentenced Rombado to consecutive terms of 15 and 24 months in federal prison without parole, for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, respectively, resulting in a total sentence of 39 months. As part of his punishment, Judge Gilmore ordered Rombado to pay restitution in the amount of $16,742 and imposed a three-year-term of supervised release following his release from federal prison.

From March 2007 through November 2007, while employed as a financial specialist at the North Eldridge Parkway branch of Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo), Rombado defrauded the federally insured bank as well as some of its customers of approximately $16,742. As a “financial specialist” for the bank, Rombado was responsible for processing personal loan applications. He used his position to execute a check kiting scheme which involved stealing and using the identities of four different bank customers and loan applicants to open fraudulent bank accounts. Rombado then issued unfunded checks from the fraudulent accounts, deposited the checks into his personal bank account and immediately withdrew the funds represented by the fraudulent checks from his account effectively taking advantage of the time lapse between the deposit and withdrawal of money represented by the unfunded checks and the deduction of the money from the unfunded account. Rombado also used stolen identities to apply for credit cards and to obtain cash advances.  

The charges against Rombado were 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 prosecuted the case.

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