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Press Release

Florida Man Admits Defrauding Zelle Users

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Robert Fuller, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that KADER GAHMAAL BIWAKI EDMOND, 24, of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty today in New Haven federal court to an offense stemming from his role in a scheme that defrauded individuals who use the electronic payments system Zelle.

According to court documents and statements made in court, law enforcement has been investigating crimes against users of digital payment applications, including Zelle.  Typically, a scheme victim receives a fraudulent text message, purporting to be from the victim’s bank, asking the victim to confirm whether a Zelle transaction was authorized.  When the victim denies the transaction, the victim receives a response that a bank representative will be in contact.  The victim then receives a phone call from an individual impersonating a bank representative, who informs the victim that an unauthorized transaction has occurred and that they need to work together to reverse the transaction.  By this point, without the victim’s knowledge, the fraudsters have linked the victim’s actual phone number or email address via Zelle to a bank account that does not belong to the victim.  The victim is then instructed to “reverse” the fictional fraudulent transaction by making a Zelle payment to what they believe is their own account, but is, in fact, an account controlled by the fraudsters.

From approximately February 2021 through August 2023, Edmond and others defrauded numerous victims, including victims in Connecticut, of a total of more than $250,000 through this Zelle scheme and other fraud schemes.

Edmond was arrested on August 31, 2023.

Edmond pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years.  He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea on August 14 in Hartford.

Edmond is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Chang.

Victims can report Zelle fraud to their bank or credit union, or to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which is run by the FBI and serves as the country’s hub for reporting cybercrime, at

Additional information about digital payment application schemes is available at

Updated May 21, 2024

Financial Fraud