News and Press Releases

former united bank employee sentenced 30 months for helping conspirator steal $17 million from bank

September 3, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Sissaye Gezachew, 32, of Springfield, Va., was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for his role in a multimillion dollar bank fraud conspiracy.

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office; and Rebecca Sparkman, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s Washington, D.C., Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.

            Gezachew, who worked as an Assistant Vice President-Senior Credit Analyst at United Bank during the time frame of the scheme, assisted Osama El-Atari, 31, of Ashburn, Va., to defraud United Bank of more than $17 million from 2007 to 2009.  Gezachew  aided El-Atari in his fraudulent scheme by supplying him with fraudulent documents, including a fraudulent tax return, and setting up fake domain names and e-mail accounts for El-Atari to submit to the bank in support of the fraudulently obtained loans.  As part of his sentence, Gezachew was also ordered to pay $18 million in restitution to United Bank.

            On Aug. 27, 2010, El-Atari was sentenced to 144 months in prison for operating the fraud scheme that stole more than $53 million from banks throughout the United States. 

            This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Fahey and Jack Hanly are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

            A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on



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