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Press Release

Former Bank Employee Sentenced to Three Years in Federal Prison for Fraudulently Opening Bank Accounts as Part of a Larger Bank Fraud Scheme Targeting Churches and Religious Organizations

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Accepted Cash Bribes to Open the Accounts From Co-Conspirators Engaged in Check Fraud and Rental Car Fraud Schemes

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang today sentenced Diape Seck, age 29, of Rockville, Maryland, to three years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a bank fraud scheme in which he and his co-conspirators obtained or attempted to obtain almost $2 million by fraud, including the theft of checks from the mail of churches and religious institutions.  Judge Chuang also ordered Seck to pay restitution in the amount of $1,708,446.49, and to forfeit $114,647.50.  A federal jury convicted Seck on February 24, 2023.

The sentence was announced by Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland; Postal Inspector in Charge Damon E. Wood of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division; Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey D. Pittano of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG); Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; Chief Terry Sult of the Cary, North Carolina, Police Department; and Sheriff Dusty Rhoades of the Williamson County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Office.

According to the evidence presented at his eight-day trial, from at least January 2019 to January 2020, Seck, a customer service representative with Bank A, conspired with Mateus Vaduva, Marius Vaduva, Vlad Baceanu, Nicolae Gindac, Florin Vaduva, Marian Unguru, Daniel Velcu, Vali Unguru and others to commit bank fraud.  Specifically, the evidence showed that Seck fraudulently opened bank accounts in fake identities in exchange for cash bribes.  Co-conspirators engaged in fraud that included fraud involving rental cars and the deposit of checks stolen from the incoming and outgoing mail of churches and other religious institutions, into the fraudulently opened bank accounts.  The co-conspirators then withdrew the funds and spent the fraudulently obtained proceeds.

As detailed in the trial evidence, Diape Seck facilitated the opening of hundreds of bank accounts at Bank A for his co-conspirators, who used purported foreign identities, often but not universally Romanian, to fraudulently open bank accounts with him at Bank A, as well as bank accounts at other victim financial institutions.  Seck opened accounts for co-conspirators without their presence in the bank, without verifying identity information, and opened accounts for co-conspirators who opened multiple accounts at a time under different identities.  To conceal his improper activities, Seck opened accounts for the co-conspirators at the same time he conducted legitimate bank activities.  The co-conspirators paid Seck up to $500 in cash in exchange for each of the fraudulent bank accounts he opened.

According to court documents and witness testimony, Seck violated numerous bank policies in opening approximately 412 checking accounts in a one-year period from approximately January 2, 2019 through January 3, 2020, relying predominantly on purported Romanian passports and driver's license information.  Checks payable to and written from churches and other religious institutions from around the country were deposited into many of the 412 checking accounts which were not opened in the names of the churches.

The co-conspirators fraudulently negotiated the stolen checks by depositing them into the victim bank accounts, including the fraudulent accounts opened by Seck at Bank A, often by way of automated teller machine (ATM) transactions.   After depositing the stolen checks into the bank accounts, the conspirators made cash withdrawals from ATMs and purchases using debit cards associated with the bank accounts.  Co-conspirators also used fraudulently obtained debit cards to rent cars which they used and then failed to return, resulting in charges by the rental car companies which had to be “written off” by Bank A.

According to court documents, co-conspirators deposited at least approximately $780,064.04 in stolen checks into the accounts Seck personally opened on their behalf and the bank had to write off at least approximately $921,590.50 from the co-conspirators’ rental car fraud in the accounts Seck opened for them.

Co-conspirators Vlad Baceanu, age 38; Marian Unguru, age 36; and Vali Unguru, age 20, all of Baltimore, Maryland, previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud.  Mateus Vaduva, age 29, of Baltimore was sentenced to five years in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $1,320,885.84; Nicolae Gindac, age 52, of Dania Beach, Florida was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $1,096,660.11; Florin Vaduva, age 31, of Dania Beach, Florida was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $1,096,660.11; Marius Vaduva, age 28, of Baltimore was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $1,334,230.84; and Daniel Velcu, age 43, of Baltimore was sentenced to 34 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $1,313,499.79, after they previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, HSI, the FDIC Office of Inspector General, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Cary (North Carolina) Police Department, and the Williamson County (Tennessee) Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Wright and Darren Gardner, who prosecuted the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit and

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Marcia Lubin
(410) 209-4854

Updated June 2, 2023

Financial Fraud