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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Former Wells Fargo Bank Manager Sentenced To 41 Months’ Imprisonment For Fraud And Theft

SAN JOSE – Sharon Lynn Shaw was sentenced yesterday to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay over $992,000 in restitution for her involvement in a bank fraud and theft by bank officer scheme, announced Acting United States Attorney Brian Stretch and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge David Thomas.

Shaw, 68, of San Jose, Calif., pleaded guilty on February 17, 2015.  In pleading guilty, Shaw admitted that from 2001 through 2012 she engaged in a scheme to defraud Wells Fargo Bank while serving as a manager at that bank. Shaw admitted that she used the names, Social Security numbers, and other personal information belonging to her parents, without their knowledge or authorization, to create false and fraudulent business loan applications that she submitted to her employer Wells Fargo Bank.  Shaw also used a checking account in the name of her parents to receive the proceeds of the loans. Shaw admitted that she used her position as a bank manager to submit fraudulent applications to Wells Fargo Bank to approve the loans and to conceal their fraudulent nature.  Furthermore, Shaw admitted that she arranged credit advances based on the fraudulent loans and then converted the proceeds for her own personal use (including paying off the mortgage on her house) without Wells Fargo’s knowledge or authorization.  Shaw also admitted she embezzled from Wells Fargo bank a $12,800 line of credit advance in January 2010 as well as a $20,000 line of credit advance in February 2010.

Shaw was charged in an indictment filed in San Jose federal district court on May 21, 2014.   The indictment alleged four counts of bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344, and two counts of theft by a bank officer, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 656.   Shaw pleaded guilty to all six counts in the indictment.

The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman.  In imposing sentence, Judge Freeman stated that Shaw engaged in “a personal Ponzi scheme” and had also abused a private position of trust to facilitate her offense.  The defendant was also sentenced to a five year period of supervised release with conditions that limit her ability to hold fiduciary roles, and ordered to pay over $992,000 in restitution.  At the sentencing hearing, Judge Freeman ordered Shaw to self-surrender by March 14, 2016, at which time she will begin serving her prison sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Fazioli is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Laurie Worthen.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service.

Updated January 13, 2016