Lynn Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud and ID Theft
BOSTON – A Lynn man pleaded guilty today in connection with a scheme to impersonate bank customers and fraudulently withdraw money from their bank accounts.
Antonio Niati, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and one count of aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing for Aug. 14, 2019. In September 2018, Niati was indicted and arrested.
In 2017, Niati recruited a bank teller working at a Santander Bank branch in Dorchester to assist in conducting fraudulent transactions in victim bank accounts. On three occasions in April 2017, another co-conspirator conducted transactions in two Santander Bank customers’ accounts using fraudulent driver’s licenses, all with the assistance of Niati and the recruited teller. Niati and his co-conspirators fraudulently withdrew over $640,000 from the customers’ accounts.
The charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. The charge of aggravated identity theft provides for a mandatory sentence of two years, to be served consecutively to any other imposed sentence, one year of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Balthazard of Lelling’s Economic Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.