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Press Release

Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty in Bank Fraud Scheme

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

PITTSBURGH, PA - A resident of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, has pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh on a charge of conspiracy, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Eric Tyrone Bates, Jr., 29, of Pittsburgh, PA, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Mark Hornak.

According to the information presented to the court, beginning in 2013, Bates and another person conspired together to steal bank account information belonging to an account holder at Citizens Bank in Pittsburgh, which information they used to make create accounts at other banks which they controlled to make multiple withdrawals of cash.

Judge Hornak scheduled sentencing for Jan. 7, 2016 at 11 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Western Pennsylvania Financial Crimes Task Force (WPFCTF), conducted the investigation that led to the successful prosecution of Bates. The WPFCTF was established as a collaborative, multi-agency effort to effectively combat financial crimes, including identity fraud, in Western Pennsylvania. Partnering in this effort are the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, the Allegheny County Police Department, the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Pennsylvania State Police.

Updated September 1, 2015