Sarasota Man Pleads Guilty to Four Bank Robberies in Federal Court
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 30, 2012|
Michael Joseph Forsythe (49, Sarasota) pled guilty today to four counts of bank robbery with a dangerous weapon. He faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison for each of the robberies. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to facts presented in court, on September 7, 2011, at approximately 2:05 p.m., Forsythe entered a branch of TD Bank located at 1852 Ridgewood Avenue in Holly Hill. He displayed what appeared to be a handgun to a teller and demanded money by saying, “Give me all the money in the top and bottom drawer, and I will not harm you.” Forsythe also warned the teller that there “better not be a tracking device.” The teller provided Forsythe with $8,331 and a hidden GPS tracker.
Minutes after the robbery, using the GPS tracker, local law enforcement located Forsythe in a stolen automobile. Officers from the Holly Hill Police Department found the money from TD Bank, a black and silver toy pistol, and a white hooded sweatshirt that matched the description of one worn by the robber. Shortly thereafter, Forsythe provided a full confession for the bank robbery to detectives from the Holly Hill Police Department and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He subsequently admitted to three other identical bank robberies in Georgia, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Forsythe added that once he had left behind a demand note during his first bank robbery, he knew that he would eventually be caught because his fingerprints were on that note. Accordingly, he saw no reason to stop robbing banks.
This case was investigated by the Holly Hill Police Department and the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.