News and Press Releases

Newport News Man Pleads Guilty to scheme to Defraud SunTrust Bank

January 11, 2011

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Monkel Drewery, 32, of Newport News, Va., pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy to commit Bank Fraud. 

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Jerome B. Friedman. 

            Drewery was indicted on October 13, 2010 by a federal grand jury on conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity charges.  Sentencing has been set for May 5, 2011.  Drewery faces a maximum penalty of thirty years and a fine of $1,000,000.  Drewery’s plea followed those of his co-defendants, Kenda Palmer and Leroy Peterson, who pled guilty in December 2010.

            According to the statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, from July, 2009 through in or about March, 2000, SunTrust Bank was the victim of a scheme to defraud whereby numerous individuals opened bank accounts at SunTrust Bank from Newport News to Richmond, Virginia. Shortly after the accounts were opened, worthless checks drawn on the banks of two other individuals, including Monkel Drewery,  were deposited into the recently opened accounts.  Debit cards were then used to withdraw the funds before the bank realized the checks were not valid. Losses to the bank exceeded $96,000.

            This case was investigated by Newport News Police Department and Secret Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Brian J. Samuels is 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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