Bank Employee Steals $2,100,000 From Customers, Spawns Web of Unauthorized Transactions and Illicit Accounts: DOJ Indictment

Bank Employee Steals $2,100,000 From Customers, Spawns Web of Unauthorized Transactions and Illicit Accounts: DOJ Indictment

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is accusing a bank employee of creating a web of unauthorized transactions and illegal accounts, stealing more than $2.1 million from customers.

In a 17-count indictment, the DOJ says it’s charging Yue Cao of Winfield, Illinois, with alleged bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property in connection with a scheme to steal funds from identity theft victims’ accounts.

Between May 2022 and April 2023, Cao is accused of defrauding an unnamed Ohio-based bank where he worked and its customers by transferring their funds to accounts that were under his control, including accounts he had established in the customers’ names, all without their knowledge or authorization.

Cao allegedly diverted the stolen money from the customer accounts for his own personal use, according to the DOJ.

The agency says Cao was a “quantitative modeling analyst,” and was able to use his position to find customers who hadn’t yet enrolled in online banking services – mostly the elderly – and sign them up using their names with fake email addresses without their knowledge.

Once the customers were unwittingly enrolled in online banking, Cao allegedly used those accounts to make at least $2.1 million in unauthorized online transfers from the victims’ real accounts to the accounts he had opened in the victims’ names and to his own financial accounts.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Cleveland Division, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward Brydle.

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