A Rockville man is accused of helping foreign nationals in a bank fraud scheme to steal more than $700,000.
Diape Seck, 27, of Rockville, and six indicted “conspirators” fraudulently opened bank accounts at financial institutions between June 2018 and January 2021, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The six co-conspirators also stole checks from churches and other religious institutions and deposited them into the accounts before spending the money, the press release stated.
Seck’s attorney, Robert Bonsib, told Bethesda Beat Thursday morning that his client was served with the charges on Monday. Bonsib was reviewing them.
“It’s premature for me to really make any comments,” he said.
The six co-conspirators are:
- Nicolae Gindac, 52, of Diana Beach, Fla.
- Mateus Vaduva, 28, of Baltimore
- Marius Vaduva, 26, of Baltimore
- Marian Unguru, 36, of Baltimore
- Daniel Velcu, 43, of Baltimore
- Vali Unguru, 18, of Baltimore
According to a Feb. 17 indictment, Seck was working at one of the financial institutions and helped open multiple bank accounts for the others.
The other conspirators used “foreign identity documents,” some of which were true and others which were fraudulent, to open the bank accounts.
Court documents state that Seck opened 412 checking accounts between Jan. 2, 2019, and Jan. 3, 2020, which relied mainly on Romanian passports and driver’s license information.
Checks made out to and from religious institutions were deposited into many of these accounts, documents state. Law enforcement eventually determined that the checks were stolen.
According to the press release, the co-conspirators deposited the checks into the bank accounts using ATMs. Then, they withdrew cash and made purchases using debit cards linked to the fraudulent bank accounts.
Seck appeared in court on Monday and was ordered to be released pending trial, according to the press release.
Each defendant faces up to 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, if convicted, the press release states.
Dan Schere can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org