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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

SunTrust Bank Manager Pleads Guilty to Counterfeit Scheme

RICHMOND, Va. – Patrice A. Callaham, 42, of Richmond, pleaded guilty today to charges of bank fraud related to cashing counterfeit or otherwise fraudulent checks totaling over $55,000 while a Branch Manager at SunTrust Bank on Azalea Avenue in Richmond.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, beginning in April 2016, Callaham agreed to funnel forged or counterfeited checks through her Azalea Avenue branch in exchange for a share of the proceeds. Check cashers would arrive at Callaham’s branch, and request to speak with her. Callaham, alerted to their arrival by a co-conspirator, would then open a SunTrust account for the check casher, cash the counterfeit check they offered, and keep $500 of the proceeds for herself. Callaham’s status as Bank Manager allowed her to personally open the accounts and cash the checks for their entire face value without running standard validation protocols. Callaham cashed counterfeit or otherwise fraudulent checks for 15 separate check cashers over the space of approximately four weeks before her activities were discovered. Callaham’s actions resulted in a loss to SunTrust Bank of over $55,000. 

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge David J. Novak.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas A. Garnett is prosecuting the case. This case was investigated by the Richmond Police Department and the United States Secret Service as members of the Metro-Richmond Identity Theft Task Force. 

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:16-cr-109.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated September 15, 2016