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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 22, 2021

Former Bank Teller Sentenced for Role in Bank Fraud Conspiracy

BOSTON – A former bank teller was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for her role in a scheme to fraudulently obtain funds from customer bank accounts.

Valnardia Novas, 25, of Framingham, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to one year of home confinement and two years of supervised release. Novas was also ordered to pay restitution of $341,433 and forfeiture of $27,900. On Dec. 10, 2020, Novas pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud conspiracy.

This case was the result of a larger investigation into multiple schemes to withdraw funds, in the form of checks and cash, from customer accounts at several financial institutions. The organizers of the scheme paid individuals to go into banks with falsified identification documents in the names of bank customers and request withdrawals from those customers’ accounts. Bank tellers were also recruited to accept the falsified identification documents without scrutiny and facilitate the withdrawals. The fraudulently-obtained funds were then negotiated through accounts at other financial institutions that had been opened in the names of fictitious business entities. 

Novas was a bank teller at TD Bank and was paid to participate in this scheme. In September and October 2017, co-conspirators instructed Novas to fraudulently withdraw more than $300,000 in the form of bank checks and cash.  

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leslie A. Wright and Christopher J. Markham of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated October 22, 2021