Seven People Indicted for Bank of America Account Takeover Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 09, 2012|
An indictment unsealed today charges seven individuals for their alleged participation in a scheme to defraud Bank of America and its customers, announced Barbara McQuade, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Foley, III, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Eddie C. Woodson, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The indictment charges Xavier Hicks, age 29 of Detroit, Michigan; James Ramsey, age 29 of Warren, Michigan; Bobby Percy, age 29 of Eastpointe, Michigan; Benjamin Carter, age 21 of Harrison Township, Michigan; Darerraul Jackson, age 24 of Detroit, Michigan; Jonathon Gibson, age 21 of Macomb, Michigan; and Ashley Pasternak, age 20 of Warren, Michigan, with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The maximum penalties for each of these offenses are 30 years.
The indictment alleges that Hicks ran an account takeover scheme, where he would recruit individuals (“runners”) such as Gibson and Pasternak to open Bank of America accounts. Hicks then would obtain the account and personal information of legitimate Bank of America customers and use that information to open a fraudulent joint account in the name of a Bank of America customer and the runner. After the fraudulent accounts were open, Hicks would conduct a series of transfers via online or telephone banking from the Bank of America customer’s account into the fraudulent joint account, followed by another series of transfers from the fraudulent joint account into the account(s) solely in the runner’s name. The funds would then be withdrawn by the runner. Ramsey, Percy, and Carter recruited runners for the scheme. Gibson and Pasternak acted as runners and also recruited other runners. Jackson drove the runners to different Bank of America branches to open accounts and withdraw funds. He also drove runners to area businesses to make purchases using the fraudulently obtained funds.
United States Attorney Barbara McQuade said, “We are committed to attacking white-collar crime, which may use sophisticated methods but, at its core, entails simply stealing other people’s money.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Foley stated, “Those who create and carry out bank fraud schemes will be arrested and prosecuted for their illegal activities. The FBI is committed to stopping anyone who steals from the banking system.”
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frances Carlson.