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Press Release

Former Synovus Employee Sentenced To Prison For Defrauding Bank And Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

MACON – A former commercial banker for Synovus was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison this morning after he admitted to defrauding the bank and evading taxes on his illegal earnings, said Charles E. Peeler, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. John D. Evans, 48, of Columbus, Georgia was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Clay D. Land to 24 months imprisonment, three years supervised release plus $166,480.94 in restitution to Synovus and $221,357 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Evans admitted guilt to four counts of Bank Fraud and four counts of Tax Evasion on November 28, 2018. There is no parole in the federal system.

Mr. Evans admitted in his signed plea agreement that the fraud occurred between July 2, 2013 and May 24, 2017 while he worked as a commercial banker for Synovus. Mr. Evans managed some of the largest clients for Synovus and diverted $1,046,602 in Synovus client funds into a personal account he opened at another bank. Financial records revealed that Evans used these funds to pay for a wide assortment of his personal expenses, including payments on vehicles, credit card bills, vacations, jewelry, and cash withdrawals. In addition, Mr. Evans failed to pay income taxes on the stolen money, amounting to $221,357.

“This defendant will pay a high price for breaching the trust of his clients and his employer.  Fraud and tax evasion are serious crimes that carry serious punishment.  Our office stands with corporate and citizen victims by prosecuting these crimes and holding fraudsters accountable for their conduct,” said Charlie Peeler, U.S. Attorney. “I want to thank the FBI and the IRS for their outstanding work on this matter.  I also want to thank Synovus for partnering with law enforcement to ensure this defendant is brought to justice.”

“We are grateful to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia for bringing this matter to a conclusion, and we are pleased that no customer incurred a loss as result of Mr. Evans’ actions,” said Lee Underwood, Communications Director for Synovus.

“Because of the cooperation between the FBI and our law enforcement partners, and the cooperation of Synovus, Evans is being held accountable for his greed-driven actions,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Anyone who tries to take advantage of a trusted position by illegally profiting from it should see this sentencing as a warning that the FBI is determined to pursue justice for the companies who are victimized.”

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Assistant United States Attorney Melvin Hyde prosecuted the case for the United States.

Questions can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Director (Contractor), United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.

Updated April 18, 2023

Financial Fraud