Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III sentenced Jayad Zainab Ester Conteh, age 24, of Glenarden, Maryland, today to 64 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and unauthorized access to a computer to obtain banking information. Judge Russell also entered an order that Conteh pay $36,400 in restitution to the victim bank and forfeit $36,400.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Postal Inspector in Charge Gary R. Barksdale of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division; Special Agent in Charge Kathy A. Michalko of the United States Secret Service B Washington Field Office; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.
According to evidence presented at the four day trial, in 2012 Conteh, a bank teller, looked up bank account holder information on the computer system without authorization. Conteh disclosed that information to her co-conspirators who ordered checks on account holders’ accounts and cashed checks totaling over $30,000 on the account of one account holder. At least seven bank account holders’ accounts were improperly accessed. The Court determined that as a result of the scheme, Conteh is responsible for over $120,000 in intended losses.
Co-defendant Paul Anthony Wilson, a/k/a Anthony Johnson, age 53, of Washington, D.C., was arrested while attempting to cash a check on the account of one of the victims. Wilson previously pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to 39 months in prison.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Secret Service and Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Thomas P. Windom, who prosecuted the case.