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Press Release

Bank Insider Pleads Guilty To Bribery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York
Corrupt Atlanta Banker Accepted Bribes to Facilitate Fraud and Money Laundering

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the guilty plea of VICTOR PHILLIPS for conspiracy to commit bank bribery.  PHILLIPS pled guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger in Manhattan federal court. 

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As he admitted in court today, banker Victor Phillips conspired to facilitate the laundering of what he believed were the proceeds of criminal activity.  Thanks to the FBI, Phillips now awaits sentencing for his crime.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment, court filings, and statements made during court proceedings:

Between at least June 2019 and September 2019, PHILLIPS, who was employed at an Atlanta-area branch of a national bank (“Bank-1”), opened bank accounts in the names of shell companies and fictitious persons in exchange for a percentage of fraud proceeds that others laundered through those accounts.  PHILLIPS, in exchange for bribe payments, opened one of these laundering accounts at the behest of a codefendant, who plotted to move approximately $2 million in fraud proceeds through PHILLIPS’s corruptly established account.  PHILLIPS, along with his co-conspirators, were ultimately identified and arrested in the course of a money laundering investigation overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (“FBI”) New York Money Laundering Investigation Squad.    

PHILLIPS, 39, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States, which carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.  Sentencing is scheduled for June 4, 2020, at 2:00 p.m., before U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III, to whom the case is assigned.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI.  

This case is being handled by the Office’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Kiersten A. Fletcher, Jonathan E. Rebold, and Andrew A. Rohrbach are in charge of the prosecution.


Jim Margolin, Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated February 13, 2020

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 20-060