Former bank employee charged with fraud

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

U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, in a statement to FOX6 News, said Ethel Wanjaneese Acoff, 37, of Birmingham was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on six counts of bank fraud, one count of access-device fraud, and six charges of aggravated identity theft.

"Bank employees must not be permitted to use their jobs to steal money and commit identity theft," Vance said in the statement. "My office will continue to vigorously prosecute crimes by bank employees."

Vance said the indictment charges that, between Feb. 1, 2009, and Aug. 14, 2009, Acoff stole debit cards returned to Regions as undeliverable mail. The indictment further charges that Acoff activated more than 50 such cards using information gained from internal Regions Bank records. Acoff used the cards to make purchases totaling more than $8,000, according to the indictment.

Vance said if convicted, Acoff could face up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for each bank fraud count, up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on access-device fraud and, if convicted of aggravated identity theft, would face a mandatory two years in prison for each count.

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