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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Former DEA Employee Pleads Guilty to Credit Card Fraud Scheme

A former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) employee pleaded guilty today to defrauding the government out of more than $113,000 using fraudulently issued government credit cards, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of the District of Maryland and Special Agent in Charge Michael P. Tompkins of the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General in Washington, D.C. 

Keenya Meshell Banks, 42, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow of the District of Maryland to one count of wire fraud.  A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 29, 2015.  

According to her plea agreement, Banks was employed by the DEA as a Program Manager, and was responsible for the approval and issuance of government credit cards to DEA employees.  While serving in that role, Banks admitted that she submitted dozens of fake credit card applications to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for fictitious DEA employees, using names and identifying information of individuals who did not work at the DEA.  In at least one instance, however, Banks submitted the identifying information of an actual DEA employee.  Through this scheme, Banks obtained at least 32 fraudulent credit cards, which she then used to withdraw more than $113,000 from ATMs in Maryland and Northern Virginia.  As part of her plea agreement, Banks agreed to forfeit the proceeds she received as a result of the scheme and to pay full restitution. 

The case is being investigated by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Richard B. Evans and Justin Weitz of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas P. Windom of the  District of Maryland.

Updated June 25, 2015