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Press Release

San Francisco Resident Sentenced To More Than 5 Years In Prison For Bank Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO – Charlyne Basada, AKA Charlyne Melendres, was sentenced today to 65 months of imprisonment for bank fraud and identity theft, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Jean Ackerman, Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration.  The sentence follows Basada’s guilty plea to the charges and her acknowledgement that she helped to defraud four employers collectively of more than a million dollars.

Basada, 38, of San Francisco, pleaded guilty on January 13, 2016, to charges that she fraudulently made payments to herself from her former employers’ checking accounts.  Basada worked as a bookkeeper or office manager for four companies from 2009 through 2015.  In her position at each company, she obtained access to the payment systems of each company.  Basada admitted she devised and executed a scheme to defraud each of her former employers by using the corporate payment systems to initiate fraudulent payments to herself.  In so doing, she created the false appearance that she was entitled to funds for wages, reimbursements, and other payments.  Her theft diverted money from, among other things, employee pension benefit plans.

Basada also prepared checks that were intended to pay personal vendors of one of her former employers.  Her employer signed these checks believing that they would be paid to vendors.  However, Basada fraudulently completed the payee portion of the check to “cash” and deposited the checks into her own personal bank account.  Basada admitted that the total loss to all four employers from her scheme was $1,085,918.90 and that she abused a position of trust at each employer.  Further, Basada acknowledged that she made some repayments to some of her former employers, but the total amount still owed to her former employers is $1,063,975.78. 

Basada was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 11, 2015, and was charged with twelve counts of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344; four counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343; and two counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1).   Pursuant to her plea agreement, Basada pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge.  In addition to the prison term, Judge Breyer sentenced the defendant to five years of supervised release.  Restitution is to be determined at a later date.  Basada was ordered to surrender to begin serving her sentence on September 6, 2016.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Kingsley is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jessica Meegan.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation conducted by the San Francisco Regional Office of the United States Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Updated September 21, 2016

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft