Seven people from Michigan are accused of participation in an elaborate scheme to defraud Bank of America and its customers.
Xavier Hicks, age 29 of Detroit, James Ramsey, age 29 of Warren, Bobby Percy, age 29 of Eastpointe, Benjamin Carter, age 21 of Harrison Township, Darerraul Jackson, age 24 of Detroit, Jonathon Gibson, age 21 of Macomb, and Ashley Pasternak, age 20 of Warren were charged Thursday with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
U.S. Attorney form the Eastern District of Michigan, Barbara McQuade, said in an indictment 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 customers, and use that information to open a joint account with the runner.
After the fraudulent accounts were open, Hicks would conduct a series of transfers into the joint account, followed by transferring the money into the the runner's sole account.
The funds would then be withdrawn by the runner.
McQuade said Ramsey, Percy and Carter recruited runners for the scheme.
Gibson and Pasternak acted as runners and Jackson drove the runners to different Bank of America branches to open accounts and withdraw funds.
"We are committed to attacking white collar crime, which may use sophisticated methods, but at its core, entails simply stealing other people's money," said McQuade.
The investigation involves agents from the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspectors, and the maximum penalties for each offenses is 30 years.