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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Foley Resident Receives 18 Months in Prison for Bank Fraud

United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama announces today that United States District Judge Jeffrey U. Beaverstock sentenced defendant Samuel Maxwell Styron, 66, a resident of Foley, Alabama, to imprisonment for 18 months for bank fraud. As part of the sentence, the judge ordered that Styron undergo five years of supervised release after finishing his term of imprisonment, pay a $100 mandatory special assessment, receive drug and alcohol treatment as directed by the U.S. Probation Office, and pay restitution totaling $75,631. Bank fraud is a crime punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment under federal law.

Samuel Maxwell Styron admitted to the following facts at his plea hearing. Starting on January 15, 2019, he knowingly executed a scheme in the Southern District of Alabama to obtain funds owned by and under the custody and control of Pen Air Federal Credit Union, a federally-insured financial institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on January 15, by means of material false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises. On January 15, 2019, Samuel Maxwell Styron visited Pen Air in Robertsdale, Alabama and opened up an individual retirement account in his name by means of material false and fraudulent pretenses. He falsely represented to Pen Air that the account was for his inheritance and that proceeds in the account would consist of personal retirement funds. In truth, Samuel Maxwell Styron had no intention of depositing personal funds into the account for retirement purposes and using the account as a traditional IRA. After January 15, Samuel Maxwell Styron made several trips to Pen Air and engaged in financial transactions associated with the account. For example, in late January 2019 Samuel Maxwell Styron helped arrange for Pen Air to receive a check in the mail totaling $147,249.50 and to deposit the check into his retirement account, which Pen Air did on February 1. The check’s memo line stated, “SAMUEL MAXWELL STYRON (IRA-Deposit).” On February 4, Samuel Maxwell Styron and his son, Samuel Warren Styron, entered Pen Air in Robertsdale. While there, Samuel Maxwell Styron wire transferred approximately $72,400 to another financial institution and withdrew approximately $22,000 in cash, a portion of which he later used for various expenditures. Around February 6, 2019, Pen Air determined that the $147,249.50 check was counterfeit and subsequently notified Samuel Maxwell Styron that “[t]he check(s) you deposited in the amount of $147,249.50 was returned due to “ALTER/FICT.”

On April 25, 2019, a federal grand jury for the Southern District of Alabama charged Samuel Maxwell Styron and Samuel Warren Styron with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349. On June 28, 2019, United States Attorney Moore charged Samuel Maxwell Styron with one count of bank fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344, an offense to which he pleaded guilty the same day before the Court. On August 26, 2019, the Court revoked Samuel Maxwell Styron’s release conditions and ordered him detained before sentencing due to prohibited drug use.  
 
On June 26, 2019, United States Attorney Moore charged Samuel Warren Styron with one count of making false statements to a federal agency in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. He pleaded guilty to the offense the same day. As part of his plea, Samuel Warren Styron admitted to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about the location of certain funds withdrawn from Pen Air on February 4, 2019. On September 19, 2019, District Judge Beaverstock sentenced Samuel Warren Styron to time served and three years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay restitution totaling $10,326. 

The FBI and the Robertsdale Police Department investigated the cases, which were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sinan Kalayoglu.

Updated October 3, 2019