In a scam that went on for more than 2 1/2 years, a man pleaded guilty to stealing $500,000 from customers at the Alexandria, Virginia, bank he managed.
Prosecutors said Wells Fargo Bank branch manager Fetehi Mohammed manipulated customers beginning about February 2017. He worked at the bank’s branch on Quaker Lane and King Street.
Mohammed became branch manager in 2015, and according to court documents, he had been working at the bank for a decade.
According to the plea papers with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C., he used his position “to ingratiate himself with elderly bank customers by providing them with personal assistance in their banking matters.”
Once he gained their trust, Mohammed got customers to sign blank withdrawal slips and, by using their personal information from bank records, had bank tellers issue cashier’s checks they were told were for customers, the documents said.
Mohammed then presented these checks and deposited the money to a bank, where he and his wife had checking and savings accounts that were used exclusively by Mohammed. This was done in an effort to conceal his scheme, court documents said.
Mohammed withdrew the money at ATMs in Virginia and D.C. and purchased goods and services that cost over $5,000.
In November 2018, he deposited a cashier’s check of $100,000 to his savings account. These funds were withdrawn without authorization from a Wells Fargo account, court documents said. He then transferred $35,000 of this deposit to his checking account and used that to pay a charge card bill of $32,451.
Court documents said that by March 2019, Mohammed had spent or used almost all of the more than $500,000 he took from customers; and he had a balance of $468 in his checking account and $2,767 in his savings.
Mohammed, who is a resident of D.C. and Virginia, faces a decade in prison and will have to repay more than $500,000 in restitution.