United States Attorney
Northern District of Alabama
April 28, 2010
Former Bank Employee Indicted for Bank Fraud, Mail Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft
BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted a former Regions Bank employee on fraud and identity theft charges, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, Postal Inspector Frank Dyer and Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Roy Sexton announced.
An 11-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges WASH TAYLOR COLEMAN JR., 33, of Birmingham, with mail fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
“People should be able to trust employees of the banks where they deposit their hard-earned money,” Vance said. “When a bank employee uses his special access to steal from those customers, the employee must be required to answer for his conduct. We will prosecute these cases to make that happen,” she said.
According to the indictment, in June 2008, COLEMAN applied for a Capital One credit card in the name of a Regions Bank customer who did business at the branch where COLEMAN worked. COLEMAN received the credit card through the mail, used it for more than a year, and sometimes made payments on the card bill with money he took from the same customer’s Regions Bank accounts, the indictment says.
The indictment also charges that, from October 2008 to September 2009, COLEMAN made unauthorized cash withdrawals from accounts of three Regions customers, including the one in whose name he had obtained the Capital One credit card. Between June 2009 and September 2009, the indictment says, COLEMAN also made unauthorized electronic withdrawals from accounts of two of these Regions customers, causing the money to be transferred to a PayPal account COLEMAN controlled.
If convicted, COLEMAN faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for each mail fraud and bank fraud charge. He also could face an additional, mandatory, two-year prison term upon conviction of each count of aggravated identity theft.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, corporate security officers for Regions Bank, the Birmingham Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa K. Atwood is prosecuting the case.
This prosecution is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency task force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.