U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Jersey
(973) 645-2888
November 16, 2015

Union County, New Jersey Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison for Robbing Multiple New Jersey Banks at Gunpoint

NEWARK, NJ—An Elizabeth, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 22 years in prison for robbing seven New Jersey banks at gunpoint and attempting to rob an eighth bank at the time of his arrest on July 30, 2012, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Claude Williams, 64, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to Count One, Count Fourteen and Count Fifteen of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit bank robbery, bank robbery and using a firearm during a crime of violence. Judge McNulty imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Williams admitted that, between Sept. 26, 2011 and July 30, 2012, he robbed seven banks and attempted to rob an eighth bank, all at gunpoint. He used a similar procedure for each robbery: after entering the bank armed with a handgun and wearing a bandana, hooded sweatshirt or jacket and white gloves, Williams would vault over the counter and demand money from bank tellers at gunpoint.

Williams admitted robbing, or attempting to rob, the following New Jersey banks:

Date Bank Location
Sept. 26, 2011 Financial Resources Federal Credit Union Somerset
Nov. 21, 2011 Somerset Savings Bank Somerville
Feb. 27, 2012 Provident Bank Piscataway
April 17, 2012 Provident Bank Clifton
May 22, 2012 Provident Bank Piscataway
June 20, 2012 Fulton Bank Metuchen
July 12, 2012 Unity Bank Middlesex
July 30, 2012 Unity Bank North Plainfield

Prior to the July 12, 2012 robbery, an unarmed, off-duty police officer was parked across from the Unity Bank. The officer observed Williams leave the bank, get into the rear of the getaway car and crouch down to hide. After noting the license plate number, the officer followed the car. During the plea hearing, Williams admitted that he exited the getaway car, walked toward the officer’s car and pointed his firearm at the officer, forcing the officer to leave the scene.

On July 30, 2012, Williams was arrested after law enforcement observed him driving in the vicinity of the Unity Bank in North Plainfield on July 27, 2012 and July 28, 2012. He admitted that he planned to rob the bank at gunpoint.

In addition to the prison term, McNulty sentenced Williams to serve five years of supervised release.

Andrea Dorsey, 56, of Plainfield New Jersey, who admitted that she served as a lookout and getaway driver for three of the robberies, was sentenced to 87 months in prison on March 13, 2014. Teresa Webb, 45, of Plainfield, who admitted that she was the getaway driver for one of the robberies, was sentenced to 54 months in prison on May 30, 2013.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. He also thanked the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and the Middlesex Borough, Piscataway, Clifton, Metuchen, North Plainfield and Plainfield Police Departments for their roles.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Osmar J. Benvenuto and Courtney M. Oliva of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Kenneth W. Kayser Esq., Irvington

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