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Press Release

Bank Manager is Sentenced for Fraud and Identity Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court TONY MCELVEEN, SR., was sentenced by United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle, to 51 months imprisonment followed by 2 years of Supervised Release.  He was also sentenced to pay full restitution and ordered to forfeit $107,390.    On May 30, 2019, MCELVEEN pled guilty to Bank Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft.   

According to the investigation, MCELVEEN used his position as BB&T branch manager, in Rowland, North Carolina, to steal the personal identifiers of two elderly customers to fraudulently obtain loans and credit cards in their names.  The loan proceeds and credit cards were used for his personal benefit to pay for, among other things, rental cars, a home security system and hotel rooms in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  In addition, MCELVEEN closed a $50,000 certificate of deposit owned by one of the elderly victims, without her knowledge, and used most of the proceeds to make a large payment toward his delinquent residential mortgage. 

MCELVEEN attempted to conceal his criminal activity through the use of his position as pastor for the Greater Faith World Outreach Church, in Florence, South Carolina.     MCELVEEN deposited some of the fraudulently obtained proceeds into the Church’s operating account and used his signatory authority on that account to withdraw funds for his personal benefit.  Additionally, he opened a BB&T account in the Church’s name through which he similarly laundered fraud proceeds.   MCELVEEN even made it appear that one of the initial loan withdrawals for $28,500 was a charitable donation made by one of the elderly victims to the Church’s building fund.

Mr. Higdon commented: “This defendant took advantage of vulnerable, elderly individuals by abusing his position of trust as a Pastor.  His crime is simply despicable!  And it’s happening all too often across our country.  We must remain vigilant and help our older citizens remain aware of those targeting them as fraud victims.”

The Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative is designed to support and coordinate the Department’s enforcement and programmatic efforts to combat elder abuse, neglect financial fraud and scams that target our nations’ seniors.  For more information about the Department of Justice’s efforts to prevent and combat elder abuse, please visit the Elder Justice Website at:  

Investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Secret Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Susan Menzer represented the government.

Updated August 23, 2019

Financial Fraud