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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Saugus Woman Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud Conspiracy

BOSTON – A Saugus woman pleaded guilty today to her role in a bank fraud scheme that fraudulently obtained more than $300,000 from customer accounts.

Emelyn Clough, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud conspiracy. U.S. District Court Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for March 30, 2022. The defendant was charged on March 15, 2021.

This case arose out of an investigation into schemes to withdraw funds, in the form of checks and cash, from customer accounts at several financial institutions. Organizers of the scheme paid individuals to request bank withdrawals from bank customers’ accounts using falsified identification documents in the names of the bank customers. 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.

Clough opened a bank account in the name of a fictitious business using a counterfeit driver’s license and helped recruit a TD Bank teller to participate in this scheme. Thereafter, between June and November 2017, co-conspirators utilized the bank account Clough opened and the bank teller Clough recruited to fraudulently obtain more than $300,000 from customer accounts. 

The charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud provides for a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, up to five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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 are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated December 8, 2021