California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Elder financial fraud = possible prison sentence for bank manager

A former branch manager at Bank of America in Willow Glen, California, has pleaded no contest to elder fraud and grand theft. He could receive up to four years and eight months in prison for stealing $18,000 from elderly clients of the bank and unbeknownst to them, issue ATM cards.

Santa Clara County prosecutors say that Maurizio Contarino, 47, is a member of a new club of criminals that consists of bank employees that rip off their customers. Another banker, ex-Wells Fargo employee John Tran, was arrested several month ago and is accused of also stealing from elderly customers (see the March 25 article in the California Real Estate Fraud Report entitled Former Wells Fargo manager accused in elder financial fraud).

Contarino’s crimes entailed accessing the accounts of Bank of America’s elderly customers, ordering the ATM cards, and changing their addresses to that of his branch. He would then use the debit cards to steal money from their bank accounts.

[Note: I worked for Carte Blanche Corporation in the mid-1970s. A small group of employees there committed similar crimes: they issued extra credit cards in the customers’ names, changed the addresses so that the employees would receive the cards, then changed the address back to the customers’ addresses, all in the same billing cycle. By the time the customers called to complain about the charges, their accounts had been charged up. I don’t believe those employees were ever prosecuted, even though management had a good idea which employees were committing the fraud.]

Read the full article in the Silicon Valley Mercury News.

© Copyright 2007-2017 Monique Bryher

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The information and notices contained on The California Real Estate Fraud Report are intended to summarize recent developments in real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, appraisal fraud, loan modification scams, loan modification fraud and other real estate related crimes occurring in Los Angeles and California. The posts on this site are presented as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice. Much of the information on this site concerns allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime. Readers who have particular questions about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud matters or who believe they require legal counsel should seek the advice of an attorney.

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