St. Louis woman sentenced for role in bank fraud scheme

March 12th, 2010 - 12:17 am ICT by BNO News  

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA (BNO NEWS) – A St. Louis, Missouri woman was sentenced to 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for her role in a scheme to defraud four different banks, prosecutors announced on Thursday.

Necole Johnson, 30, was convicted for aiding and abetting bank fraud. She and 3 men participated in a scheme to defraud the Branch Banking and Trust, Wachovia Bank, Bank of America and Suntrust Bank by depositing fraudulent checks in various accounts and later withdrawing the money from ATMs.

From April 2005 to July 2007, Eric Davorne Baerga and his brother Ivan Malik Baerga, both of Newark, New Jersey, along with Roland Ware of Raleigh, North Carolina, recruited people that provided them with their debit card and account information. With this information, the co-defendants deposited fraudulent checks into the accounts so they could withdraw the money from ATMs.

The debit card holders received between $500 to $1,000 for letting them use their bank accounts. Most of them were college students. By the time the banks realized the checks were fraudulent, the money was already withdrawn.

Johnson was the billing manager at Dun Physical Therapy and provided the counterfeit checks, drawn on the accounts of patients, involved in the case. Over $1.2 million were deposited via fraudulent checks to the various accounts.

The Baerga brothers and Ware were sentenced in 2008. Johnson was also ordered to pay $719,638 in restitution.

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