Former Bank Executive Admits Receiving Kickbacks from Oxford Collection Agency
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 10, 2014|
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Michael Gesimondo, 57, of Farmingdale, New York, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to receiving kickbacks while he was an executive at Washington Mutual Bank.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Oxford Collection Agency was a private financial services company that engaged in accounts receivables management, primarily debt collecting, with offices in New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Between 2007 and 2011, Oxford Collection Agency executives engaged in a multi-year scheme to defraud its lender, investors, and clients. The investigation also revealed that Oxford Collection Agency was actively involved in bribing bank officials.
Gesimondo was employed as Collection Manager of Business Banking at Washington Mutual Bank and was in charge of outsourcing collection accounts to collection agencies. Washington Mutual Bank contracted with the Oxford Collection Agency to collect debts owed to it by consumers. Between May 2008 and May 2009, Gesimondo received kickbacks from Oxford Collection Agency as a reward for providing Oxford Collection Agency with the bank’s debt collection business, often providing Gesimondo with a percentage of the collected debt amount.
Washington Mutual Bank received funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
Gesimondo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to accept money as a reward in connection with a business transaction of a bank. Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for April 4, 2014, at which time Gesimondo faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
Seven other individuals have been convicted as a result of this investigation and prosecution of criminal activity arising from Oxford Collection Agency and the debt collection industry.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), and the Connecticut Securities, Commodities, and Investor Fraud Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Liam Brennan and Special U.S. Attorney John McReynolds.