February 1, 2019
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday — Banker Who Wore Wire Against Colleagues Gets 21 Months in Prison
From the Philadelphia Tribune:
A former Wilmington Trust loan officer who wore a wire for the FBI and was the government’s key cooperating witness against colleagues was sentenced to 21 months in prison Tuesday for his role in the multimillion-dollar fraud that triggered the former banking titan’s demise.
Joseph Terranova was the seventh and final former top Wilmington Trust official sentenced to prison in recent weeks. Those who will spend time behind bars include ex-President Robert Harra and chief financial officer David Gibson, both sentenced to six years behind bars and $300,000 fines.
Terranova had secretly recorded conversations with a colleague and developers during a regular canasta game they played, and his actions proved beneficial to FBI agents and federal prosecutors as they built their case. Terranova pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud in 2013. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie McCall called him the No. 1 witness against other bank officials.
Sentencing guidelines called for a 21-month prison term. But McCall noted that, despite Terranova’s cooperation, he had the bank’s biggest commercial loan portfolio and was central to the fraud scheme.
McCall pointed out that Terranova wired developer Michael Zimmerman $1 million against the bank’s lending policy after Zimmerman sent him this fax: “Send $1,000,000 ASAP I have to pay my bar tab.”