Germantown Woman Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Her Employer of More Than $1 Million
Greenbelt, Maryland – Sobeida Maria Laboy, age 46, of Germantown, Maryland, pleaded guilty on November 30, 2016, to bank fraud arising from a scheme to defraud the financial institution for which she worked of more than $1 million.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
According to her plea agreement, Laboy worked in the Chevy Chase branch office of a financial institution that offered online banking services to its customers and had affiliates that offered homes loans and other financial services. Laboy admitted that from December 2007 through June 19, 2014, she created fraudulent invoices, which she submitted, along with check requests, for payment by her employer. The invoices purported to be for services provided by a specific vendor. Laboy submitted the fraudulent invoices along with a check request form, stating that the check should be sent to her at her office in Chevy Chase. Laboy forged the signature of another employee in the “approval” section of the form. Instead of sending the checks for payment to the vendor, Laboy endorsed the checks with her own signature and deposited them into her personal bank accounts.
Over the course of the scheme, Laboy deposited at least 60 checks issued by her employer and made payable to the vendor. Laboy deposited at least six additional checks either issued by her employer and made payable to other vendors, or issued by other vendors and made payable to her employer. As a result of the scheme, Laboy fraudulently obtained at least $1,020,576.28
Laboy faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for bank fraud. U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte scheduled her sentencing for March 15, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
Today’s announcement is part of the efforts undertaken in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established 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. Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lindsay Eyler Kaplan and Nicolas A. Mitchell, who are prosecuting the case.