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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Former New York Bank Manager And Two Others Charged In Manhattan Federal Court In Multimillion-Dollar Fraud And Money Laundering Scheme

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the filing of a criminal complaint charging CHITAKRA RAMUDIT, a/k/a “Lilian Ramudit,” LOUIS LITVIN, and MELISSA CHAN with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering in a multimillion-dollar scheme to steal from a real estate company (“Company-1”), which was a client of a major retail bank in Manhattan at which RAMUDIT was a branch manager. LITVIN was Company-1’s chief financial officer, and CHAN was a bookkeeper for Company-1. RAMUDIT abused her position as a bank manager to help LITVIN and CHAN steal from Company-1, and RAMUDIT also separately stole more than $100,000 from two elderly account holders at the bank. RAMUDIT and CHAN were arrested and will be presented later today before the U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein. LITVIN was arrested in Florida this morning and was presented before a Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Florida.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “Chitrakra Ramudit, a former bank manager, allegedly abused her position to steal more than a million dollars from the bank’s customers, including elderly account holders. Together with Louis Litvin and Melissa Chan, who worked at a victim real estate company, Ramudit also worked to launder their fraud proceeds through various back office dealings. These defendants allegedly took advantage of their positions at the bank and the victim company to steal money and launder it through a series of opaque transactions.”

According to the Complaint[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

RAMUDIT is a former branch manager at a major retail bank in Manhattan (“Bank-1”), with significant management authority and control over large financial transactions. RAMUDIT abused her position and authority to steal more than $1 million from client accounts, including accounts held by Company-1 and elderly individual account holders. RAMUDIT conspired with LITVIN, Company-1’s former CFO, and CHAN, a former Company-1 bookkeeper, to steal from Company-1. The defendants carried out their scheme through various means, including fraudulent wire transfers, unauthorized writing and cashing of cashier’s checks, and unauthorized withdrawals from Company-1’s accounts. The defendants laundered the illicit proceeds from these schemes through multiple bank accounts, and used the illicit proceeds to purchase various assets.

RAMUDIT appears to have received substantial kickbacks from LITVIN and CHAN for facilitating their theft from Company-1. For example, in 2010 and 2011, RAMUDIT conducted several transactions to help LITVIN and CHAN steal approximately $400,000 from Company-1, for which RAMUDIT received approximately $175,000 in payments to a bank account she controlled that was in the name of a family member. RAMUDIT also helped CHAN and LITVIN steal money by permitting them to cash or deposit Company-1’s checks. RAMUDIT would often personally cash Company-1’s checks for CHAN and CHAN would meet at RAMUDIT’s office to receive the cash from RAMUDIT. Some of the money CHAN stole was invested into a Brooklyn-based restaurant, in which RAMUDIT was also an investor.

LITVIN, who solely controlled Company-1’s payroll system, separately also stole more than $7 million from Company-1 through its payroll account with Bank-1. After LITVIN’s theft through the payroll system was discovered, he was fired by Company-1, and CHAN discussed unleashing a virus on Company-1’s computer systems to corrupt their files and cover up the crimes.

* * *

RAMUDIT, 56, of Queens, LITVIN, 63, of West Palm Beach, Florida, and CHAN, 38, of Queens, are each charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. RAMUDIT and LITVIN are each also separately charged with an additional count of bank fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Acting U.S. Attorney Kim praised the work of the Criminal Investigators of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and the agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Eli J. Mark and Jacob Warren are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Elder Justice
Contact: 
James Margolin, Dawn Dearden, Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
17-137
Updated May 19, 2017