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Press Release

Former Bank Official Sentenced For Multiple Fraud Schemes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH - A Pittsburgh man has been sentenced in federal court to 90 months’ imprisonment on his convictions of bank embezzlement, bank fraud, mail fraud, tax fraud, conspiracy to commit counterfeiting and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Terrrence F. McVerry imposed the sentence on Joseph Graziano, Jr., 29, of Pittsburgh, Pa.

According to information presented to the court, from May 12, 2008 through March 25, 2011, Graziano was employed by Bank of New York Mellon as a Corporate Trust Administrator. In this position, he had the access and ability to wire funds in and out of accounts held by the bank’s corporate trust customers. Graziano used this access to embezzle $2,441,294.35 from Bank of New York Mellon by wiring funds from the corporate trust accounts into his own bank accounts. In federal income tax returns, he failed to report the embezzled funds as income.

In the time before and after Graziano was employed by Bank of New York Mellon, he also engaged in schemes to defraud five other banks including Dollar Bank, First Niagara Bank, First Commonwealth Bank, Ameriserv Financial Bank and PNC Bank. In these schemes, the defendant submitted fraudulent loan documents to induce the banks to extend credit to him.

Following the bank embezzlement and the bank frauds, the defendant began engaging in a new and separate scheme to defraud through the online marketplace The defendant defrauded eBay buyers by offering personal electronics for sale on eBay. After the buyers submitted payment to the defendant's PayPal account, the defendant sent the buyers empty boxes, falsely claiming that the boxes' contents had been stolen during shipping. After the defendant had been indicted on charges relating to those offenses, and while he was on pretrial release, the defendant began to engage in new and separate criminal conduct. Only a few months after he was charged in the original indictment, Graziano engaged in a conspiracy to purchase counterfeit United States currency through a source in the Republic of Uganda with the intent to pass the counterfeit currency at retail locations in the United States. The defendant used a stolen identity to set up a mailbox to receive the shipments of counterfeit currency from Uganda and also attempted to open a credit card and bank account using the stolen Identity.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge McVerry stated that the defendant has cheated and stolen his way through life and that by continuing to commit offenses while on pretrial release, the defendant demonstrated no respect for the law or for himself.

Assistant United States Attorney Tonya Sulia Goodman prosecuted these cases on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the United States Secret Service for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Graziano.

Updated July 14, 2015