Former Indian-American bank employee pleads guilty to fraud scheme

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) logo is pictured on a wall after a news conference to discuss alleged fraud by Russian Diplomats in New York December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Raminder Singh Rekhi, a former bank employee pleaded guilty to theft, embezzlement, or misapplication of bank funds in connection with a scheme to illegally make loans. The plea was accepted Nov. 13, 2019, by Senior U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer, a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, said.

Rekhi, 41, of San Francisco, was a long-time employee of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. In his plea agreement, Rekhi admitted that in 2017, he used his position to convince a customer to purchase what he told her was a Wells Fargo certificate of deposit (“CD”).

Rekhi acknowledged that there was no CD, and that instead, Rekhi diverted the customer’s money into other accounts under his control.  Once the money was under his control, Rekhi entered into a series of transactions in which he used the funds as capital to make loans to three separate individuals.  In so doing, Rekhi misappropriated the deposits entrusted to the care of Wells Fargo and, because the subsequent loans were not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, placed the deposits at risk, the press release said.

On April 18, 2019, a federal grand jury indicted Rekhi, charging him with one count of theft, embezzlement, or misapplication of bank funds.  He pleaded guilty to the charge.

Judge Breyer ordered Rekhi released pending sentencing which is scheduled for March 18, 2020.  Rekhi faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, 5 years supervised release, and a fine of $1,000,000, plus restitution and special assessments.

 

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