New York Man Admits Role In Scheme To Bilk Bank Customer Accounts
PHILADELPHIA – Divine Garcia, 29, of New Rochelle, NY, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy and bank fraud. Garcia was a middleman in a fraud conspiracy that involved recruiting employees at various banks, between Pennsylvania and New York, to provide information about bank customers’ accounts. A sentencing date is scheduled for October 19, 2015.
Garcia and his co-conspirators, charged elsewhere, formed an organization based out of New York which stole large sums of money from FDIC insured banks across the United States, including some in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The organization included numerous bank employees, three of whom were recruited by Garcia to provide confidential information about customers and their accounts. The organization used this information to take control of the customers’ account. Once they had sufficient control, an imposter working for the organization would enter a branch carrying: (a) a fake identification card, which Garcia had given them, with the biographical information of the customer but the photo of the imposter; and (b) a pre-printed and signed withdrawal slip with a signature which mimicked the customer’s actual signature. Using the forged withdrawal slip and fake identification card, the imposter would typically withdraw large sums of U.S. currency at various branches. The imposters were often accompanied by a handler from the organization, who would organize and supervise the fraudulent transactions. In total, Garcia provided the bank fraud organization with 65 confidential customer account profiles. From those accounts, the organization stole $481,856.00.
Garcia faces a maximum statutory sentence of 35 years in prison, a fine of up to $4 million, five years of supervised release, and a $200 special assessment.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Secret Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Livermore.