Two personal bankers at a JP Morgan Chase branch in Bed-Stuy have been indicted in Brooklyn Supreme Court, along with two other co-defendants, for allegedly stealing about $400,000 from the accounts of fifteen elderly and deceased clients.
Between August 2012 and October 2013, Jonathan Francis, 27, of Flatbush and Dion Allison, 30, of Georgia—then personal bankers at a Chase bank at Bed-Stuy's Restoration Plaza—allegedly took advantage of their employee access to identify fifteen dormant accounts with high balances belonging to elderly or deceased New Yorkers. In each case, the accounts were receiving regular and automatic Social Security checks.
In order to access the cash, Francis and Allison allegedly issued ATM cards pertaining to these accounts to their co-conspirators, who proceeded to make withdrawals at regular intervals ranging from $200 to $2,000.
Among the alleged co-conspirators were 40-year old Kery Phillips and 24-year-old Gregory Desrameaux of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, neither of whom were employed by Chase. According to the Brooklyn DA's office, Phillips and Desrameaux withdrew from multiple accounts, using multiple ATM cards within minutes at a given Chase ATM.
"As alleged, these individuals preyed upon the elderly and deceased," said Police Commissioner Bill Bratton in a statement. "Not only did they raid their victims’ savings, they also failed to conceal their deceitful tracks."
The defendants allegedly made 355 ATM withdrawals totaling nearly $300,000 over the course of a year and two months. In February 2013 alone, the defendants allegedly made 42 withdrawals totaling $39,800 from four different accounts at four different ATMs.
They also allegedly filed false Durable Power of Attorney documents—legal documents that assign a second party to act in one's place—which facilitated withdrawals of $100,000 from four accounts at various teller stations.
All four defendants have been charged with conspiracy, grand larceny and falsifying business records, and could face up to 15 years in prison.
Allison was arrested on Monday and is being held on $25,000 bond or $15,000 cash. His next court date is set for February 10th. Francis and Desrameaux were arraigned earlier this month, pleaded not guilty, and will also reappear in court in February. Phillips remains at large.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for Chase stated, "We have been working closely with the authorities and the Social Security Administration since notifying them about this incident. We will continue to do so to ensure that the funds are reimbursed to our customers or their estates or returned to the government as appropriate."