November 19, 2021
Fraud Friday – Bank Branch Manager Uses Deceased Bank Customers’ Identities for Fraud
“This defendant took advantage of his position at a bank to steal money from the bank accounts of deceased individuals,” says Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “This significant breach of trust is also a serious federal crime. As this case demonstrates, we work closely with the Secret Service to identify and prosecute white collar criminals and to seek justice for the victims of financial crimes.”
Kezi Pervez is a former Santander Bank branch manager in Salem, New Hampshire who pled guilty to bank fraud on March 29, 2021. This week, he was sentenced to twelve months and one day in federal prison along with the forfeiture of more than $450,000 in restitution.
From April 2016 until September 2017, Kezi took advantage of his position as a branch manager to steal or attempt to steal $560,000 from the bank. Pervez would either open accounts himself or order one of his employees to open bank accounts under the names of deceased bank customers. Once the accounts were open, he withdrew funds that exceeded the balance of the accounts and would authorize the overdrafts using his position as a manager. In addition, Kezi identified inactive bank accounts of other deceased bank customers, and he would transfer money out of those accounts and deposit the funds into various accounts under his control.
On some occasions, Pervez transferred stolen or overdrawn funds into accounts at other banks that he controlled. He also transferred stolen or overdrawn funds between multiple accounts in Santander Bank that he controlled before transferring the money to other banks, and some of these funds were utilized to pay his personal bills. Overall, he overdrew or stole $564,590 from others’ bank accounts and successfully transferred $450,000 to other bank accounts outside of the bank for personal use.
“The US Secret Service is committed to investigating complex fraud schemes especially those that involve the exploitation of elderly and deceased victims,” states Timothy Benitez, Resident Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s New Hampshire Office.
DOJ Press Release