U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Georgia
(404) 581-6000
March 26, 2015

Four Men Sentenced for Stealing Millions from Bank of New York Mellon

ATLANTA—Zachary Vaughn, Derek Spinks, Harry Cobb, and William Leese have been sentenced for their respective roles in a conspiracy to steal more than $4 million from the Bank of New York Mellon.

“In 2009, Defendant Vaughn brazenly stole more than $4 million and for years manipulated bank accounts to cover his tracks, all for the benefit of himself and his coconspirators who enjoyed the fruits of the theft,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn. “Citizens trust financial institutions with their money every day and have the right to expect that bank employees handling their accounts have the utmost integrity. Those who enrich themselves by stealing someone else’s money will be caught and prosecuted.”

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “The sentencing of these four defendants brings to a close an extensive and expensive bank fraud scheme. With restitution amounts in excess of $4 million dollars, these individuals will have many years to contemplate their bad decisions.”

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: From 2005 to 2013, Zachary Vaughn was employed by the Bank of New York Mellon at its Atlanta, Georgia location. In his position, Vaughn had access to client funds that were held at the bank, including an account that held more than $4.3 million in reserve funds, which belonged to a customer of the bank. Vaughn and defendant Derek Spinks decided to steal the funds from the bank.

In December 2009, Vaughn wired $4.3 million from the Bank of New York to a bank account in the name of a business owned by Derek Spinks. Soon thereafter, Spinks and defendant William Leese decided to invest the money in C&L Logistics and Transportation, LLC, a business owned by Leese and defendant Harry Cobb. In January 2010, the defendants arranged to move the $4 million to a C&L bank account that was controlled by Leese and Cobb.

The defendants then used the stolen funds for C&L business expenses as well as for personal expenses, including purchasing personal vehicles, a suite at Atlanta Hawks basketball games, gold, and funding personal travel expenses. Vaughn, who remained employed at the Bank of New York until 2013, continually moved client funds from one account to another so that the original theft went undetected until 2013, when he left his employment with the Bank.

The defendants were sentenced by United States District Judge Orinda B. Evans as follows:

· Vaughn, 35, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced on February 19, 2015, to five years, three months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Vaughn was convicted after pleading guilty on August 18, 2014.

· Spinks, 35, of Austell, Georgia, was sentenced March 26, 2015, to two years, nine months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Spinks was convicted after pleading guilty on September 4, 2014.

· Cobb, 48, of Decatur, Georgia, was sentenced March 26, 2015, to one year, eight months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Cobb was convicted after pleading guilty on September 15, 2014.

· Leese, 33, of Duluth, Georgia, was sentenced on February 19, 2015, to three years, one month in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Leese was convicted after pleading guilty on December 5, 2014.

Additionally, all of the defendants were ordered to pay restitution to the Bank of New York in the amount of $4,387,598.57.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Jamie L. Mickelson prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.Presse-mails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

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