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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 7, 2016

Man Charged in Conspiracy to Defraud Regions Bank, Other Financial Institutions Remains a Fugitive

Memphis, TN – A man who allegedly executed a scheme that defrauded Regions Bank and other financial institutions of more than $200,000 has been indicted on federal charges. He is considered a fugitive at this time. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the indictment today.

According to the indictment, Ocho Edi Monso, 52, of Memphis, Tennessee, conspired with Dasse Romain Yobo and others to execute a scheme to defraud Regions Bank and other financial institutions between July 2013 and January 2014.

The conspirators unlawfully obtained money and customer account information from Regions and other financial institutions. The conspirators used the information to call and/or fax the financial institution where the customer maintained their account and falsely represented that they were the customer. Funds were subsequently transferred from the customer’s account to accounts controlled by the conspirators.

As part of the scheme, the conspirators also deposited altered or counterfeit checks to accounts they opened at financial institutions. They then withdrew or transferred funds from the account of deposit to accounts they controlled at other financial institutions.

For example, in December 2013, Monso provided Yobo with fraudulent information to open an account at Regions Bank under the name KEM Construction. That same month, a check payable in the amount of $130,949.96 with an altered payee name was deposited to the account.

In January 2014, the conspirators requested that $77,023.83 be wire-transferred from the KEM Construction account to an account styled "Peniel Energy" in Lawrenceville, GA.

In July 2016, Monso also possessed at least 15 counterfeit and unauthorized access devices and device-making equipment with intent to defraud.

The indictment against Monso was returned under seal last month. The U.S. Attorney's Office filed a motion to unseal the indictment earlier this week due to the belief that Monso is aware that law enforcement officers are looking for him. Thus far, Monso has avoided apprehension.

Monso is being charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud; one count of possession of 15 or more counterfeit access devices with intent to defraud; and one count of possession of device-making equipment with intent to defraud.

The bank fraud charge carries a penalty of up to 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million. The possession of counterfeit access devices charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000. And the possession of device-making equipment charge carries a penalty of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carroll Andre is prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.

Monso is also facing charges in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to attend a scheduled court appearance in Baton Rouge on October 4, 2016.

Anyone with information about Monso's whereabouts is asked to contact Sgt. Brad Less with the U.S. Secret Service Economic Crimes Task Force at (901) 544-0333, or U.S. Postal Inspector Kyle W. Parker at (901) 746-1024.

The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated October 7, 2016