Stealing checks from churches, worth nearly $2 million, results in conviction for former bank worker

Obtaining or attempting to obtain almost $2 million by fraud, including by stealing checks from the mail of churches and religious institutions, earned a Maryland man a conviction by a federal jury late last week, according to the watchdog for the federal bank deposit insurance agency.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s (FDIC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) said Diape Seck, age 29, of Rockville, Md., was convicted in federal court of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, making false entries in bank records, and receipt of a bribe or reward by a bank employee. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for each charge.

According to the OIG, while a customer service representative with an unnamed bank (referred to as Bank A) from at least January 2019 to January 2020, Seck conspired with others to commit bank fraud.

“Specifically, the evidence showed that Seck fraudulently opened bank accounts in fake identities in exchange for cash bribes,” the OIG said. “Co-conspirators engaged in fraud that included fraud involving rental cars and the deposit of checks stolen from the incoming and outgoing mail of churches and other religious institutions, into the fraudulently opened bank accounts. The co-conspirators then withdrew the funds and spent the fraudulently obtained proceeds.”

The agency said Seck violated numerous bank policies in opening approximately 412 checking accounts in a one-year period from approximately Jan. 2, 2019 through Jan. 3, 2020. He relied predominantly on purported Romanian passports and driver’s license information, the OIG said. Checks payable to and written from churches and other religious institutions from around the country were deposited into many of the 412 checking accounts which were not opened in the names of the churches.

Former Bank Employee Convicted After Trial for Fraudulently Opening Bank Accounts