Former Senior Employee at FDIC Convicted of Embezzling Confidential Documents
Documents Contained Confidential Information of World’s Largest Banks
Following six days of trial, a federal jury in Brooklyn returned a guilty verdict today against Allison Aytes on both counts of an indictment charging her with theft of government property in the possession of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). When sentenced by United States District Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr., Aytes faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Jay N. Lerner, Inspector General, FDIC, announced the verdict.
“Aytes embezzled sensitive and confidential information about banks that was the property of the United States government shortly before she resigned from the FDIC to seek job opportunities at those very same banks,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “With today’s verdict, Aytes has been held accountable for abusing her position of trust for personal gain.”
“This case makes clear that those who compromise sensitive FDIC information will be held accountable for their actions,” stated FDIC Inspector General Lerner. “We are committed to investigating such breaches of public trust, and to protecting the integrity of confidential data maintained by the agency.”
At the time of her resignation in September 2015, Aytes was a senior employee in the FDIC’s Office of Complex Financial Institutions in New York. The Office was created after passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to oversee and conduct, if necessary, an orderly bankruptcy of the world’s largest banks and financial institutions. Each of these banks and financial institutions is required to file resolution plans, referred to as “living wills,” with the FDIC. The plans contain confidential information about the bank, including its assets, business operations, data center locations, critical vendors, agreements with other banks and potential weaknesses or other deficiencies that pose risk during a time of financial crisis.
In August 2015, Aytes used her office computer to review listings for and apply for jobs with financial institutions that filed living wills with the FDIC. On August 27, 2015, one day after being contacted about a possible position at one of the banks, Aytes logged on to a secure FDIC database and printed living will information for that bank. On September 16, 2015, Aytes resigned her position at the FDIC. A review of FDIC Data Loss Prevention software revealed that on her last day of work, Aytes copied numerous electronic files from the FDIC network to external USB drives, including living wills for U.S. banks where Aytes had been seeking employment.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Section. Assistant United States Attorney James P. McDonald is in charge of the prosecution.
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-132 (SJ)