PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Acting United State Attorney Richard B. Myrus announced today that a pair of superseding indictments unsealed in federal court in Providence charge eleven individuals, including three bank employees, with participating in schemes to defraud local banks by creating and depositing checks, then withdrawing bank funds prior to financial institutions discovering the fraudulent activity. The counterfeit checks contained personal account information belonging to, among others, individuals, small businesses, an insurance company, and an attorney’s office.
According to the indictments, four defendants allegedly participated in one scheme that defrauded banks for approximately one year beginning in April 2020. Seven individuals allegedly participated in an unrelated scheme that defrauded banks for approximately 14 months beginning in January 2020.
In one of the schemes, an indictment unsealed on Thursday alleges that Terrance Richardson, 30, of Providence, obtained and stole checks and bank account information belonging to businesses and individuals, and used the information to create counterfeit checks. The indictment alleges that Richardson gained the assistance of Machaela Farias, 26, of Providence, an employee at Santander Bank, to facilitate the deposit of the counterfeit checks.
It is further alleged that as part of the scheme, Richardson and others obtained debit card information of individuals who agreed to be compensated for allowing counterfeit checks to be deposited into their bank accounts. Once the checks were deposited, Richardson, Farias, Johanna Arias, 33, of Providence, Jordan Robertson, 24, of Providence, and others, quickly withdrew the funds from the accounts. The indictment alleges that members of the conspiracy deposited at least $165,154 in counterfeit checks and withdrew at least $89,453 in cash.
The indictment charges Richardson, Farias, Arias, and Robertson with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and 14 counts of bank fraud. Additionally, Richardson is charged with aggravated identity theft.
In an unrelated matter, an indictment unsealed on November 15, 2021, alleges that Richard Koboi, 26, of Providence, Maximillan Mwah, 38, and Godgift Rosler, 33, of Pawtucket, obtained and stole checks and bank account information belonging to small businesses and individuals. It is alleged that some of the account information and checks were accessed and provided by Savonnah Briggs, 26, and Isha-Lee Savage, 23, of Providence, while working at Citizens Bank and Santander Bank respectively. The information was allegedly used to create counterfeit checks that Koboi, Mwah, and others deposited into the bank accounts of individuals that were paid in exchange for their agreement to allow their bank accounts to be used. Nearly$70,000 in counterfeit checks was deposited into the accounts. The indictment alleges that Koboi, Mwah, Junior Richards, 24, of Pawtucket, Darren Maenza, 27, of Pawtucket, and others made rapid withdrawals, cash transfers, and debit card purchases from the accounts.
The indictment charges each defendant with conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Additionally, the indictment charges Richards, Maenza, and Rosler with 12 counts of bank fraud and Richard Koboi with 12 counts of bank fraud and one count each of aggravated identity theft and felon in possession of a firearm.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ly T. Chin.
The matter was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Acting United States Attorney Myrus thanks the FBI for its assisting in the arrest of several of the defendants.