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Press Release

Bank Employee Indicted on Charges of Bank Fraud and Identity Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio
Employee targeted elderly victims and set up accounts without their knowledge

CLEVELAND – A federal grand jury has returned a 17-count indictment charging Yue Cao, 34, of Winfield, Illinois, accusing him of bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property in connection with a scheme to steal funds from identity theft victims’ accounts at the bank where he worked.

According to the indictment, from between approximately May 2022 to April 2023, Cao allegedly engaged in a scheme to defraud the Ohio-based bank where he worked, and its customers, by transferring funds from those customers’ accounts to ones that Cao controlled, including accounts he had established in the customers’ names, all without their knowledge or authorization. He diverted the money stolen from the customer accounts for his personal use.

Cao was a quantitative modeling analyst at the bank and used his position to locate customers who had not yet enrolled in online banking services, primarily targeting elderly customers as identity theft victims. Without the victims’ knowledge, Cao created email addresses in their names and enrolled their accounts in online banking without their knowledge. By setting up online banking, he both obtained control of the victims’ accounts and ensured that bank statements and other notices about the accounts would be sent to the email addresses he controlled. Cao then used the victims’ personal identifying information to open unauthorized bank accounts and brokerage accounts in their names. Cao used his control of these accounts to set up at least $2.1 million in unauthorized online transfers from the victims’ true accounts to the unauthorized accounts he had opened in the victims’ names and to Cao’s own financial accounts.

An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum, and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI Cleveland Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward Brydle.


Jessica Salas Novak
(216) 622-3921

Updated May 8, 2024

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft