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Signature Bank employee arrested for stealing $80,000 from customer accounts to pay her bills

By Mason White 3:20 AM September 10, 2014
Signature Bank 

By: Sanvi Rizvi
A bank employee was arrested on charges of theft for stealing cash from customer accounts to pay her bills, police in New York said.

Kings County District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson, announced that a former Brooklyn bank teller has been charged with using her position to funnel more than $80,000 out of numerous customer accounts to pay her family’s bills.

District Attorney Thompson said: “Within just weeks of being hired as a teller, this defendant allegedly stole money from the bank accounts of customers to pay her own bills. Now she could face imprisonment for this major betrayal of trust.”

“This case was brought by my new Cybercrimes Unit, a team of prosecutors capable of fighting 21st-century crimes such as this defendant’s alleged computer-based thievery. The Unit focuses on fraud such as identity theft, hacking, e-scams and schemes relating to online payments. It will also assist investigations involving the seizure and analysis of emails and digital equipment,” Thompson said.

Thompson identified the defendant as Janese Ferguson, 27, of 146 Beach 59th Street in the Arverne section of Queens.

She was arraigned last night in Brooklyn Criminal Court on a complaint in which she is charged with second-degree grand larceny, second-degree forgery, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and first-degree identity theft.

She was released without bail. The defendant faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. District Attorney Thompson said that according to the complaint, Ferguson had been hired as a teller at the Signature Bank branch at 26 Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

Between December 2012 and April 2014, Ferguson allegedly made 58 unauthorized transactions from 13 different Signature Bank accounts totaling $80,235.38.

According to the complaint, Ferguson made the transactions—mostly electronic transfers–to benefit herself, her husband, Randell Ferguson, and her mother, Darlene Brown.

Some of the unauthorized transactions included money transfers to pay Ferguson’s student loan bills and her mother’s credit card bills, and to make Western Union wire transfers in Randell Ferguson’s name.

According to the complaint, Ferguson also allegedly created counterfeit checks using Signature Bank clients’ accounts and routing numbers, and used the checks to make payments to collection agencies on behalf of her husband.