A former bank teller at a Washington DC Wells Fargo branch stole more than $185,000 from a homeless man who banked there, according to court filings.
Phelon Davis, 29, pleaded guilty in the US District Court to interstate transportation of stolen property, according to the United State’s Attorney’s Office.
Davis, of District Heights, Maryland, will likely spend 18 to 30 months in prison and, under his plea agreement, will pay back the homeless man the $185,400 he stole.
Pictured is the M Street NW branch of Wells Fargo in Washington DC. There, in October 2014, bank teller Phelon Davis began a scheme in which he stole $185,400 from a homeless man over a two-year period
His federal offense carries a maximum jail term of 10 years. His crimes were interstate because he transferred stolen money between the nation’s capital and Maryland.
Davis was an employee of the M Street NW Wells Fargo in Washington back in October 2014, reports the Washington Post.
The homeless man, a street vendor and a long-time customer of the branch, brought a large amount of cash in a bag to the bank branch.
The man was unable to deposit thousands of dollars he intended to because he did not have any identification.
His accounts had gone dormant due to inactivity.
Davis told the man where to go to get proper identification, and also checked the man’s balance at the bank.
Upon realizing that the man had a substantial sum of money in the bank across multiple accounts, Davis ‘devised a scheme to fraudulently obtain the customer’s money,’ according to the Attorney’s Office.
Davis pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of stolen property. He could spend up to 30 months in prison and will need to repay the homeless man
Davis took $3,000 from one of the man’s accounts and used it to open another. He forged the man’s signature, created an online account and ordered an ATM card with a PIN number for the fraudulent account.
Davis then, over a two-year period, used ATMs more than 100 times to withdraw $185,440 from the customer’s multiple accounts.
The customer never received bank statements showing this activity because he did not have a permanent address. The man also did not have access to email or a computer.
Davis used the funds to put a down payment on his home and to pay for vacations in the Caribbean and Mexico, among other pursuits.
It is not clear how or why the homeless street vendor, who was not identified in court documents, had so much money.
Davis’s attorney, Bruce Allen Johnson, told the Washington Post: ‘That’s the million-dollar question.’
The last time Davis took money from the account was in October 2016. It is not clear how he was caught, but he was formally charged this past July.
His sentencing has not yet been scheduled.