Former bank employee indicted for fraud, theft

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A federal grand jury Wednesday indicted a former Regions Bank employee on fraud and identity theft charges.

U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, in a statement to FOX6 News, said Wash Taylor Coleman, Jr., 33, of Birmingham, was indicted on 11 counts of 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."

Vance said Coleman, in June 2008, 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 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, Vance said 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.

Vance said this prosecution is part of President Barack Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. Vance said President Obama established the inter-agency task force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.  

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