11 people, including 3 bank employees, charged in two separate fraud schemes

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Eleven people, including three bank employees, are facing charges connected to two separate schemes to defraud Rhode Island banks, according to Acting United States Attorney Richard Myrus.

Myrus said those involved would deposit counterfeit checks and withdraw the funds before the banks discovered the fraudulent activity. Those checks, Myrus said, contained personal account information that belonged to, individuals, small businesses, an insurance company and an attorney’s office.

According to Myrus, four of the people who were arrested were involved in one scheme that started in April 2020. The seven others were involved in another unrelated scheme that began in January 2020.

In one of those schemes, Myrus said Terrance Richardson, 30, of Providence, stole checks and bank account information from businesses and individuals to create counterfeit ones. Myrus said he then enlisted Santander Bank employee and Providence resident Machaela Farias, 26, to deposit the counterfeit checks.

Richardson and others would then obtain the debit card information of people who agreed to be compensated for allowing counterfeit checks to be deposited into their accounts, according to Myrus.

Once the checks were deposited, Myrus said Richardson, Farias, and Providence residents Johanna Arias, 33, and Jordan Robertson, 24, quickly withdrew the funds from the accounts.

When all was said and done, Myrus said the suspects deposited at least $165,154 in counterfeit checks and withdrew at least $89,453 in cash.

Richardson, Farias, Arias and Robertson are charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and 14 counts of bank fraud. Additionally, Myrus said Richardson is charged with aggravated identity theft.

In an unrelated scheme, Myrus said Pawtucket residents Maximillan Mwah, 38 and Godgift Rosler, 33, as well as Richard Koboi, 26, of Providence, obtained and stole checks and bank account information belonging to small businesses and individuals.

The account information was given to them by Citizens Bank employee Savonnah Briggs, 26, and Santander Bank employee Isha-Lee Savage, 23, both of Providence, Myrus said.

According to Myrus, the information was used to create counterfeit checks that Koboi, Mwah, and others deposited into the bank accounts of individuals that were paid in exchange for their agreement to allow their bank accounts to be used.

In this scheme, Myrus said nearly $70,000 in counterfeit checks was deposited into the accounts. Myrus said Koboi, Mwah, and Pawtucket residents Junior Richards, 24, Darren Maenza, 27, would then make rapid withdrawals, cash transfers and debit card purchases from the accounts.

Koboi, Mwah, Richards and Maenza are each charged with 12 counts of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. In addition, Koboi was also charged with aggravated identity theft and felon in possession of a firearm.

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