Bank Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud in Amount of $250,000
The federal government, via the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted a former bank employee for bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The man was employed as a bank teller for a local bank at the time of the charged misconduct. He was targeted and approached by former high school classmates who knew of his employment with the bank. The former classmates masterminded a plot to steal $250,000.00 from a commercial bank account. The plot required the teller’s assistance, first to confirm the targeted account information such as account name, account number and available balance, and second, the assist with processing a fraudulent transaction transferring money out of this account and depositing it in a series of other dummy accounts for subsequent withdrawal. The masterminds lured the teller into their conspiracy with assurances that the plot was fool proof and upon a promise of a one-time payment of $15,000.00 for his involvement. The teller agreed to assist as requested, thereby joining in this illegal bank fraud conspiracy.
The teller participated as requested. The masterminds first provided him with identifying information of the target commercial account. The teller, while on duty at the bank, verified the accuracy of the information to include the account name, number and high available balance of several hundred thousand dollars. Within days later, the teller was on duty working at the bank counter. A person unknown to him approached the teller window and provided him with what appeared to be proper identification and completed funds transfer slip. The teller recognized the account information on the transfer slip as the one targeted by the fraudulent scheme. The teller failed to report or decline this transaction. Instead, he processed it as planned resulting in the fraudulent transfer of $250,000.00. The masterminds of this conspiracy then initiated a number of subsequent additional transfers and withdrawals in order to steal the month. Within days of the $250,000.00 transaction, both bank investigators and the U.S. Secret Service were advised of the fraud. The teller was questioned and without the presence of advice of legal counsel, immediately confessed to his involvement in the fraudulent scheme.
The teller, along with a number of other individuals, were indicted with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit the same in United States District Court, also known as federal court. Attorney John L. Calcagni III represented the teller in connection with these charges, the under lying investigation, which took years, and then ultimately in federal court. Because the teller provided incriminating statements to authorities, to include a full confession of his role and involvement in the bank fraud conspiracy, this case was not ripe for a trial defense. When cases are indefensible such as this was, a good lawyer can best advocate for his client through damage control. This involves negotiating the best possible terms of a pretrial agreement with the government, and then convincing the Court to impose a lenient sentence on the Defendant. Here this is exactly what Attorney Calcagni did. The theme to this case was acceptance of responsibility. The teller accepted responsibility early on by first confessing his actions to bank investigators and agents of the Secret Service. He continued on with this theme by promptly pleading guilty after his indictment and continued on with it up to and including sentencing.
As part of sentencing preparation, Attorney Calcagni developed and prepared materials for the Court’s consideration that included his client’s overall rehabilitation, thereby not needing a jail sentence to learn his lesson. Attorney Calcagni emphasized that nearly five (5) years elapsed from the time of the bank fraud up to and including the teller’s sentencing hearing. During that time, the teller obtained new employment in the automotive industry. He climbed his way from an entry level sales position to the ranks of management. He also married and became a father of two beautiful children. The teller had no other criminal history and remained fully compliant with his bail terms and conditions over the years. He was even trusted by the Court and government to leave both the state and country on multiple occasions while on bail, thereby demonstrating his trustworthiness and respect for the law. Because of his personal progress, rehabilitation, demonstrated remorse and otherwise lack of a criminal record, Attorney Calcagni successfully persuaded the sentencing judge to impose only probation and no jail for the teller’s admitted felony misconduct. This white collar case which otherwise provided for significant jail time due to the gravity of financial loss and breach of the banking system provided the teller with a once-in-a-life-time opportunity for a second chance.