A federal grand jury indicted the following six defendants on May 22nd for using fake drivers licenses and social security cards to impersonate bank account holders and withdraw significant amounts of money from bank accounts, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein:
Aiah Momoi Gbondo, age 28, of Silver Spring, Maryland;
Ghislain Nkoto, age 27, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland;
Sigismond Winston Strasser, age 29, of Burtonsville, Maryland;
Aldophe Roland Zoa, age 28, of Bronx, New York;
Omar Diakity Kaba, age 26, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland;
Desiree Frederica Venn, age 24, of Beltsville, Maryland.
The 18-count indictment charges the defendants with bank fraud and using the identity of another in relation to a felony. According to the indictment, from October 2005 to May 11, 2006 Gbondo obtained the names and bank account information of certain bank account holders. Gbondo, Nkoto and Zoa obtained fake drivers licenses and social security cards to impersonate the account holders and withdraw money from the bank accounts through the purchase of cashiers checks, direct cash withdrawals and electronic funds transfers to other accounts. Gbondo, Nkoto and Zoa directed some of the fraudulently obtained cashiers checks to be made payable to Strasser and Venn, or to other fictitious individuals or bank customers who had no knowledge of the fraudulent scheme. Gbondo and Nkoto would then use false identification documents to impersonate such fictitious individuals and bank customers so that they could negotiate the fraudulently obtained checks.
The indictment alleges that under this scheme, the defendants fraudulently withdrew more than $500,000 from various bank accounts.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for bank fraud and a $1 million fine, and a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in prison followed by one year of supervised release for using the identification of another in relation to a felony.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.