Former Wells Fargo Teller Pleads Guilty To Stealing More Than $185,000 From Homeless Customer

by Samuel Abasi Posted on September 29th, 2017

Washington D.C.: A former bank teller, Phelon Davis, 29, of District Heights, Md., has pled guilty to stealing more than $185,000 from a longtime customer of the bank, a homeless man, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Andrew Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. The defendant used the money for Island vacations and other personal benefits. The FBI did not disclose name of the bank but Phelon Davis gave that information away on his linked in page. It Is Wells Fargo Bank.

Phelon Davis, 29, of District Heights, Md., pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to interstate transportation of stolen property. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison and potential financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Davis faces a likely range of 18 to 30 months in prison and a potential fine. The plea agreement calls for Davis to pay $185,440 in restitution and an equal amount in a forfeiture money judgment. Davis will be sentenced at a later date by the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan.

According to a statement of offense submitted at the plea hearing, Davis worked in 2014 as a teller at Wells Fargo bank in Washington, D.C. One of the bank’s longtime customers, who was homeless and earned money as a street vendor, maintained more than one account with the bank. However, by October 2014, his accounts had gone dormant due to a lack of activity.

In October 2014, the customer attempted to deposit thousands of dollars into one of his accounts. Because he lacked identification and the accounts had gone into dormant status, Davis instructed the customer where to go to obtain identification documents and a Social Security card. In reviewing the customer’s accounts, Davis noticed that the customer had a surprisingly large balance. As a result, Davis devised a scheme to fraudulently obtain the customer’s money.

Later that month, Davis used the identification means of the customer to fraudulently open a new account in the customer’s name. He forged the customer’s signature on the application and had an ATM card issued for the newly opened account. Over the next two years, without the customer’s knowledge, Davis logged into the customer’s accounts online and transferred money between the accounts. All told, from approximately Oct. 22, 2014 through Oct. 26, 2016, Davis used ATMs on 144 occasions to withdraw $185,440 from the customer’s accounts. The customer, meanwhile, did not receive bank statements during this time, did not use e-mail, and did not have access to a computer.

Davis used the stolen money for his personal benefit, including funding a down payment on his residence, paying off personal debt, and paying for vacations in Jamaica, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico.

Photo: US Department Of Justice FB1

In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu and Assistant Director in Charge Vale commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office. They also expressed appreciation for the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Criminal Investigator Shannon Alexis, Paralegal Specialist Jessica Mundi, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kondi Kleinman, who is prosecuting the matter.

The FBI did not reveal the bank involved but Phelon Davis disclosed this himself on his linked in page. He worked in Temple Hills, Maryland as a Sales And Service Specialist for Bank of America from Jun 2008 – Mar 2014,  Personal Banker in Washington D.C for Wells Fargo from Mar 2014 – Feb 2016  and as Security Sales Consultant for Frontpoint Security in Tysons Corner, Virgina, since April 2016. That would mean the bank in question is Wells Fargo.

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