Bank fraud can follow you to the grave.
That’s what prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, said in the case of two men who worked as personal bankers at JPMorgan Chase and are accused of stealing $400,000 from inactive bank accounts. At least eight account holders were dead.
Jonathan Francis, 27, and Dion Allison, 30, were charged with crimes including conspiracy and second-degree grand larceny. The men and their conspirators made more than 350 ATM withdrawals from about 15 accounts, according to an indictment unsealed this month.
Francis and Allison “preyed” on such accounts, New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said in a statement. “Not only did they raid their victims’ savings, they also failed to conceal their deceitful tracks,” he said.
Francis and a third alleged conspirator were arraigned this month. A fourth person remains at large. Francis and Allison pleaded not guilty, according to Oren Yaniv, a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.
From about August 2012 to October 2013, while Francis and Allison were employed as personal bankers at a JPMorgan Chase branch in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, the men electronically accessed “dormant” accounts with high balances, state prosecutors said in a statement.
The men targeted accounts with no activity but regular Social Security direct deposits, according to prosecutors. They created ATM cards for the accounts and withdrew money, prosecutors said.
Victor Knapp, a lawyer for Allison, said it was premature to say whether his client would fight the charges. Allison left the bank about two years ago and moved to Georgia, Knapp said. The former personal banker “has had no criminal background whatsoever” and is a “family man,” the attorney said in an interview.