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Monday, September 13, 2010

Former United Bank Employee in Virginia Sentenced to 30 Months for Helping Conspirator Steal $17 Million from Bank

Sissaye Gezachew, 32, of Springfield, Va., was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for his role in a multi-million-dollar bank fraud conspiracy.Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office; and Rebecca Sparkman, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s Washington, D.C., Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.Gezachew, who worked as an assistant vice president-senior credit analyst at United Bank during the time frame of the scheme, assisted Osama El-Atari, 31, of Ashburn, Va., to defraud United Bank of more than $17 million from 2007 to 2009. Gezachew aided El-Atari in his fraudulent scheme by supplying him with fraudulent documents, including a fraudulent tax return, and setting up fake domain names and e-mail accounts for El-Atari to submit to the bank in support of the fraudulently obtained loans. As part of his sentence, Gezachew was also ordered to pay $18 million in restitution to United Bank.On Aug. 27, 2010, El-Atari was sentenced to 144 months in prison for operating the fraud scheme that stole more than $53 million from banks throughout the United States.This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Fahey and Jack Hanly are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

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