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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2 Mansfielders in Ohio plead guilty in embezzlement of $2 million


Two Mansfield men pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland to charges involving embezzlement and fraud totaling $2.1 million.
Kevin J. Moore, 35, former manager of the Huntington National Bank branch in Ontario and a KeyBank branch in Mansfield, pleaded guilty to one count of bank embezzlement, two counts of wire fraud and three counts of tax evasion.
He was represented at a hearing scheduled for 1:45 p.m. by attorney Roger M. Synenberg of Cleveland.
As part of the plea agreement, Moore agreed to pay an undetermined amount of restitution to victims. Those could include the banks, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (which insures banks) and a man who was defrauded of $360,000 in a phony investment scheme, according to Robert J. Patton and Christian H. Stickan, of the Office of the U.S. Attorney.
While Moore’s assets have not yet been gauged, the probation department will look into that issue.
“He’ll be under an obligation to make that repayment,” Stickan said. “They are going to try to explore what assets are available. I don’t want to give anybody any false hopes that there’s a gold mine.”
During Monday’s 45-minute hearing, Randy L. Meister, 60, a friend of Moore’s, pleaded guilty to one charge, misprision of a felony (becoming aware of a crime and helping to conceal it), with bond set at $10,000. He was represented by a public defender.
The men, both Mansfield residents, were arraigned before Magistrate Nancy A. Vecchiarelli. Sentencing will be March 13, before Judge Christopher Boyko.
Bond was set at $20,000 for Moore and $10,000 for Meister, with both men on supervision until sentencing.
A bill of information filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office charged that Moore, while working as manager of Huntington National Bank on Village Park Court South in Ontario between August 2008 to November 2010, embezzled about $1.7 million from Huntington and its CD and annuity customers.
Moore met with Huntington customers who wanted to open or renew accounts, then pocketed the money — targeting certificates of deposit (CDs) and investments in annuities because the bank did not then send customers monthly statements for those types of accounts. The plea agreement says he offered customer phony inflated interest rates the bank would not actually provide, to entice them to keep their money in those accounts — and “flipped” money from other accounts when customers decided to cash out.
“He was telling (bank tellers) that customers were coming in and taking out the money,” Stickan said. “It’s a pretty sophisticated process. He certainly knew what he was doing when he did it.”
The information also charged Moore with three counts of tax violations for evading taxes for calendar years 2008, 2009, and 2010 in connection with that scheme. The IRS believes Moore owed more $514,720 in taxes on unreported income of $1.72 million from those three years.
Moore also was charged with wire fraud for defrauding a member of a church where he was assistant pastor of $360,000, by persuading him to put money into a phony “day-trading” scheme, then diverting the money for his own use. Moore told the man he could get returns amounting to $5,000 per month. The victim cashed out a 401K and sold stock to “invest” in the scheme.
“He (the victim) was getting small payments back, but that was done in the guise of keeping him quiet,” Stickan said.
Moore, who was manager for the Ontario branch of KeyBank from fall 2007 to spring 2008, also was charged with bank fraud for opening lines of credit in the name of Randy L. Meister, initially without his friend’s knowledge. Prosecutors say he then fraudulently drew on those lines.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged one of the lines of credit was opened against a home at 234 Poplar St. that Meister owned, and that was purchased with cash Moore provided. The loss involved in that incident was $45,400, according to court records.
Meister was charged for allowing his name and real property to be used to establish the lines of credit at KeyBank, allowing Moore to proceed with fraudulent withdrawals from the lines of credit, and concealing Moore’s bank fraud from authorities. The statutory penalty for misprision of a felony is three years and a $250,000 fine.
Under federal law, the bank embezzlement and bank fraud charges against Moore must involve prison time.
“The seriousness of the bank fraud statute is reflected by the fact that those charges are non-probationable,” Patton said. “Those found guilty of those charges will go to prison, even if you have no record.
“The public has to have confidence in the banking system, and the only way to do that is to prosecute people who abuse it.”
Bank embezzlement has a maximum statutory penalty of up to 30 years and a $1 million fine. Maximum penalties for the other charges are 20 years and a $250,000 fine for wire fraud; five years and a $250,000 fine for tax evasion; and 30 years and a $1 million fine for bank fraud.
“Criminal acts are typically not foreseeable,” Patton said. “I don’t think there’s a particular defect in the processes at Huntington. He (Moore) was doing things at KeyBank (also).”
While FDIC insurance prevented bank customers from individually losing money, the U.S. Probation Office will determine what amounts of restitution the FDIC, the banks, or the church member may be owed.
Federal agencies initially began investigating the two men after Meister “came under the radar screen of the FBI” in connection with his home loan, Patton said.
“It’s not unusual for a bank, when they see unusual activity, to make a referral,” Stickan said.
Federal prosecutors said that investigation, which linked the two men, eventually converged with the others. The church member Moore persuaded to put money into the phony investment scheme independently lodged a separate complaint with the FBI in connection with his losses, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Former bank executive sentenced for embezzlement in Montana

From the Billings Gazette-

A former vice president at a Montana bank was sentenced to more than nine years in prison after authorities said she embezzled nearly $3.7 million to cover personal debts.
Rhonda Lee Devries, 51, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon in Great Falls.
Devries pleaded guilty in August to bank fraud, embezzlement by a bank officer, credit card fraud and money laundering involving the assets taken from First Security Bank in Malta over nearly a dozen years.
"She tearfully accepted the sentence and expressed profound regret and sorrow for everything she did and took full responsibility for her actions," defense attorney Mark Parker of Billings told The Billings Gazette (
The judge also ordered Devries to pay $3.8 million in restitution and to spend three years on probation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl Rostad had sought a 10-year sentence, calling the scheme methodical, devious and sophisticated, and saying it "involved countless acts of theft and deception."
The crime "has seriously jeopardized the continued existence of a community financial institution, thereby putting at risk the futures of the bank's employees, the financial security of its shareholders and the availability of credit for a small agricultural community," Rostad wrote in his sentencing recommendation.
Prosecutors alleged that Devries had managed about $40,000 in debt by transferring it to new credit cards until January 2001, when her application for another account was declined.
During the next several years, she used her position as vice president of operations to open three high-limit credit cards and had accumulated balances totaling nearly $3.4 million when the fraud was discovered last spring, prosecutors said.
Another account opened in June 2011 had a balance of $304,493. Court records indicated that Devries manipulated bank records to cover the crimes, which were discovered in late April by the bank's credit card servicing company.
The bank's directors and owners asked the judge to consider that Devries was a long-term officer, "giving her abundant knowledge to recognize that a theft of this magnitude would jeopardize the bank's existence."
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insures most accounts for up to $250,000, so customers' deposits should not be affected by the fraud, court records said.
"There is every indication that First Security of Malta will survive as a bank," state banking commissioner Melanie Hall said. "The bank and its board of directors have taken significant steps to improve the financial condition, including the injection of more than $1 million in capital."

Former Kansas bank teller sentenced for embezzlement


A former teller at a northeast Kansas bank will spend 10 months in home confinement for embezzling more than $27,000 from the bank.
The U.S. Attorney's office says 23-year-old Brittney L. Crane will also serve two years of supervised release under the sentence she received Monday.
Crane worked at a branch of US Bank in Kansas City, Kan. In a guilty plea she entered in August, she admitted processing forged counter withdrawal slips totaling $27,700 in late 2011.
A video recording of one transaction showed her processing a forged withdrawal slip for 20-year-old Cierra Clayborn at a drive-thru window. Investigators said the two women met later in the day to split up the money.
Clayborn, also of Kansas City, Kan., has pleaded guilty to bank embezzlement and faces sentencing Dec. 3.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Two ex-tellers get probation in separate bank theft cases in Illinois

Two former tellers involved in separate thefts while working for a Holiday Shores bank have been given probation and orders of restitution to pay back thousands of dollars.
The second of the tellers, Jamie L. Gajewski, was accused of stealing nearly $90,000. She pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony theft in exchange for a sentence of three years of probation.

Authorities said the deal was made possible, in part, by the willingness of Robert Behme, owner of Behme's Market in Holiday Shores, to go along with it.

Behme told authorities he felt sorry for the defendant and just wanted his money back.

Gajewski, 29, of the 1200 block of Nassau Drive, Holiday Shores, pleaded guilty in Madison County Circuit Court to one felony count of theft over $10,000, a Class 2 felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

She had no previous criminal record.

Gajewski was a teller at First National Bank of Staunton, Assistant Madison County State's Attorney Rachelle Crowe said.

In a statement read in court, Crowe said that, had there been a trial, store employees, police and bank officials would have testified and proved that the store employees were taking the bank deposits to the bank each evening, but Gajewski was pocketing some of the money.

Gajewski would make up a deposit slip to cover the difference between the amount put in the account and the amount the employees took to the bank.

The thefts occurred between January 2011 and Jan. 23 of this year. Behme started noticing shortages in the store's account and asked police to investigate. Crowe said the investigation revealed all the short transactions were traced to Gajewski as teller.

The Madison County Sheriff's Department handled the investigation.

Gajewski was charged in March. The original charge alleged she took $37,000, but a further investigation set the amount at nearly $90,000.

Circuit Judge Richard Tognarelli accepted the agreement for the three years of probation and set the restitution at exactly $89,923. Gajewski also will have to pay court costs and the cost of probation.

The defendant posted $6,000 cash bond shortly after she was charged and has remained free on bond since.

Gajewski was represented by defense attorney John Stobbs of Alton.

"She is very sorry for what she did, and she is thankful that the victim was willing to go along with the agreement," Stobbs said. "For the rest of her life, she will have a felony on her record, and that will make it very difficult to get another job."

Gajewski was the second teller this year to be charged in a major theft case involving the Holiday Shores branch of the bank.

Lori A. Surgant, 51, also of Holiday Shores, was charged Feb. 7 and pleaded guilty in July.

Surgant was accused of stealing more than $7,000 from the bank, which reported suspicions to the Sheriff's Department after an internal audit.

She was ordered to pay $7,246 in restitution as part of her plea agreement.

In Surgant's case, the Sheriff's Department initially was contacted Jan. 26. Sheriff's Department officials said their investigation showed Surgant was suspected of stealing the money from Nov. 1, 2011, through Jan. 20 of this year.

The thefts reportedly occurred during Surgant's normal shifts as a teller and initially were discovered because of a shortage in her drawer.

Surgant worked at the bank for eight years.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ex-bank employee who took $84,000 to get year in jail In Connecticutt


Former Webster Bank Supervisor Kimberly MacDonald will be sentenced in January to a year in prison for stealing $84,000 by removing bills from the center of strapped cash bundles, and replacing them with $1 bills.

MacDonald, 40, of 237 Moore Drive, in Torrington, turned over $20,000 to the bank Tuesday when the terms of a plea agreement were outlined in Superior Court before Judge James P. Ginocchio. She will be sentenced to five years of probation following her release to repay the remainder of what she stole.

MacDonald admitted taking the cash over five years from Webster Bank branch at 155 Main St. in Thomaston where she was a teller supervisor. She was arrested last December, telling police she starting replacing $100 and other large bills in stacks of $2,000 in cash.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bank chief stole $2.3M, brought down Philly credit union


A former bank manager from Philadelphia was charged today in embezzling more than $2.3 million from a credit union that he used to try to buy 15 kilograms of cocaine and real estate, federal authorities said.

Ignacio "Nacho" Morales, 40, was manager of the Borinquen Federal Credit Union, which served low-income Hispanics in North Philadelphia. In June 2011, the National Credit Union Association took over BFCU, but within two weeks, closed the credit union and liquidated its assets.

The sudden shuttering of the financial institution puzzled and upset community leaders who, at the time, were not told what had happened.

The court documents explained why.

According to U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger, Morales looted $600,000 in 2008 to buy real estate and allegedly stole $560,000 in 2009 in an attempt to purchase 33 pounds of cocaine.

Part of Morales' alleged scheme involved cashing fake IRS tax return checks. Morales kept 20 percent of the value of each phony check, according to an court records. In addition, he allowed one credit union member to withdrawal $500,000 from an account even though there was nothing in it; took $700,000 that another member attempted to deposit for his personal use, and altered bank records and delivered fake statements to cover up his actions.

Morales is charged with conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims, misapplication and embezzlement, making false reports on federal credit institution entries, engaging in monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity, filing false federal income tax returns, and attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Prosecutors seek 10-year sentences for principals in Pinehurst Bank scheme in Minnesota


Federal prosecutors are seeking 10-year prison terms for John Markert and George Wintz, who were convicted in April on charges related to a $1.8 million check-kiting scheme at the former Pinehurst Bank in St. Paul.

But attorneys for Markert, the former president of Pinehurst, and Wintz -- a trucking company owner who was a major customer at the bank -- want sentences that involve probation or home confinement.

The two were convicted following a 12-day trial that found Markert, 58, of Mendota Heights, guilty on five counts of misapplication of bank funds, along with an acquittal on bank fraud charges.

Wintz, 72, of Minneapolis, was found guilty of bank fraud and embezzlement, while being acquitted on the misapplication-of-funds charges.

Prosecutors filed papers Monday, Aug. 6, arguing for the 10-year sentences. The dueling position papers about what punishment the two should receive revisit disagreements at trial about whether the bank actually lost any money. Both sides also disagree with portions of a pre-sentence investigation by probation officers, which assigns "offense levels" to the crime and can push a recommended prison sentence up or down.

While the probation office found that Markert, for instance, should see his offense level rise because he abused a position of trust at the bank and jeopardized the bank's soundness, his attorneys disagree.

They argue that Markert was trying to save the bank from insolvency after Wintz's overdraft, and that a sentence of probation is appropriate.

Meanwhile, Wintz's attorney, Andy Luger, is asking for a "creative and unique" sentence for his client. He argues that Triangle Warehouse -- Wintz's trucking and warehouse company in Northeast Minneapolis, which employs more than 130 people full-time -- shouldn't have to go out of business.

Luger requests a prison sentence for Wintz that runs on weekends, confines him to his home when he's not working, and suggests a court-appointed financial monitor to watch his business dealings.

"In his few remaining productive years in business, Wintz requests that he be allowed to serve a sentence that allows him to save the jobs and careers of his employees," Luger argued in his position paper.

Evidence at trial showed that Wintz had a history of kiting checks -- which involves flowing funds between two checking accounts at different banks to cover overdrafts -- and that bank employees had made Markert aware of it. When Wintz's kiting produced the $1.8 million overdraft in 2009, Markert helped put together a scheme to originate loans in the names of five people -- including Wintz's daughter and a long-time employee -- to cover the overdraft.

Prosecutors say those five "nominee loans" were fraudulent, and that the actual loss in the case is $1.8 million. Attorneys for Markert and Wintz argue that the bank didn't lose any actual cash, and that Wintz continues to make payments on the five loans, which are now held by Coulee Bank, based in Wisconsin.

The jury cleared a third defendant at trial, Greg Pederson, a former senior loan officer at Pinehurst, on all counts.

Sentencing dates have not been set for Markert and Wintz.

The final decision on sentencing will be up to U.S. District Court Judge Ann Montgomery, who is handling the case.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Former Bank Officer Faces Prison, Millions in Restitution for Embezzlement in Oklahoma


A former bank officer has been sentenced to four years and nine months in prison and ordered to pay millions of dollars in restitution after pleading guilty in what a federal prosecutor called “the largest internal bank theft” in the history of the Tulsa-based Northern District of Oklahoma.

Janice Mora Adams, a former senior vice president for private banking and internal control officer of Peoples Bank, stated in court documents that she initiated fraudulent loans and accounts as part of a scheme in which she embezzled funds from May 2004 until February 2010.

Adams, 55, pleaded guilty Feb. 28 to a charge that alleged she misapplied money over the nearly six-year period. The Broken Arrow resident stipulated in her plea agreement that her conduct caused a loss to the bank of $3.05 million. However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles McLoughlin said Tuesday that, due to its insurance coverage, the bank itself only sustained a loss of about $4,000.

Adams also pleaded guilty in February to five tax crimes connected to the money she embezzled but did not report on her federal income taxes.

McLoughlin said in a court document that what Adams did amounted to a “very complex and complicated looting of Peoples Bank.”

He said there were several different elements of the scheme, but that the primary method of embezzlement involved Adams creating fictitious loans based on information obtained from existing accounts of bank customers without those customers’ knowledge.

McLoughlin said, by the time it was over, Adams was responsible for “the largest internal bank theft” in the history of Tulsa’s Northern District. Adams’ purchases included nearly $250,000 on items such as cosmetics, perfume and clothes from Dillard’s; more than $450,000 on jewelry from Moody’s; more than $66,000 on merchandise from White House Black Market and nearly $70,000 on goods from the Pottery Barn.

The bank’s news release stated it “remains financially strong and has strengthened its internal controls to (ensure) that improper activity is uncovered and stopped at the earliest possible date.”

U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan ordered Monday that Adams pay more than $3 million in restitution to the bank’s insurer as well as $859,474 to the Internal Revenue Service for tax years 2005 through 2009. Adams was also ordered by Eagan to be under court supervision for five years after being released from prison.

Eagan ordered Adams, who is on bond, to report to prison by Sept. 12.

Adams pleaded guilty in February to an amended charge filed Jan. 19 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tulsa.

She also agreed to pay a criminal money judgment of more than $2.6 million.

The amount is meant to represent the money she misapplied, reduced by $317,289 in jewelry that she already has forfeited.

Adams also agreed to forfeit more than $24,000 in lieu of two vehicles obtained with proceeds of her crime.

Oklahoma Bank Teller Charged With Pocketing Cash From Customers


An Oklahoma City bank teller is charged with embezzlement after police say she pocketed customers' cash deposit by filling out fraudulent deposit slips.

According to police, 23-year-old Nicole Kemp, a bank teller at the Oklahoma Fidelity Bank, had conducted 14 fraudulent cash deposit transactions.

Investigators say Kemp would alter the amount of cash deposit after the customers had left by filling out a new deposit slip with lower amount of cash, and alter the deposit total in the bank's computer to show the lower deposit amount, in order to cover up the theft.

Police say Kemp would then pocket the customer's cash.

On May 7, a customer with the Victory Bible Baptist Church went to Kemp to deposit $1,305, including $229 in cash, and $1,076 in checks. However, he later noticed on his bank statement that the amount of cash deposited into his account only showed $69.

The customer then contacted the bank and authorities conducted investigations into the incident. It turns out the bank teller, Kemp, had filled out a new deposit slip for only $69 after the customer had left, and changed the amount in the bank's computer to show only $69.

The bank provided police with security video and copies of checks and deposit slips.

Kemp is now charged with unauthorized use of a computer network for the purpose of obtaining money and other things of value, by use of a false or fraudulent presentation.

The total loss to the Oklahoma Fidelity Bank was $1,084, according to police.

Former Tennessee Commerce official charged with embezzlement


A former official from the now-defunct Tennessee Commerce Bank was indicted Thursday on a single charge of embezzlement, according to federal court documents.

Lisa Crawford Justice is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from the Franklin-based bank, which earlier this year became Tennessee's first bank failure in the wake of the Great Recession.

In 2008, Crawford was named operations officer and deposit operations supervisor with the bank.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Tennessee accuses Crawford of taking the funds between 2009 and 2011. The government is seeking forfeiture of the money; the offense carries a maximum fine of $1 million and 30 years in prison.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Indian Trail Woman Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison for Wire Fraud and Filing a False Tax Returns in North Carolina


An Indian Trail woman charged with wire fraud and filing a false tax return was sentenced today to serve 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release following incarceration, announced Anne M Tompkins, United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. United States District Court Judge Max O Cogburn, Jr also ordered the defendant to make restitution payments of $727,584 to victim Yamauchi Corporation and $203,725 to the IRS.

United States Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Jeannine A Hammett, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI), and Chris Briese, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division.

In June 2011, Beth Ann Cox, 51, of Indian Trail, NC. was charged with and pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false income tax return. According to court documents, from 2003 to 2009 Cox engaged in a scheme to defraud her employer, Yamauchi Corporation (“Yamauchi”), where she was employed as an administrative assistant.

Court documents indicate that Cox had full access to Yamauchi’s operating company bank account and handled payroll transactions and money transfers for the company.

Court records indicate that beginning in July 2003, Cox used her access to Yamauchi’s bank account to make unauthorized wire transfers from the company’s account to pay off balances on her personal lines of credit. Those unauthorized wire transfers totaled over $447,000. In addition to the wire transfers, Cox forged company checks made out to her name and, in turn, falsely logged the fraudulent checks as commissions, bonuses, or tuition payments. The forged checks totaled $270,937 payable to Cox.

As part of her plea agreement, Cox has admitted that at no time was she authorized to make those wire transfers or issue those checks. According to court documents and today’s sentencing proceedings, Cox received at least $727,570 from the fraudulent scheme; however, the tax returns Cox filed for the relevant time period did not reflect that additional income.

“Corporate fraud and embezzlement have devastating effects on the financial health of the victim companies. Individuals engaged in such conduct undermine the livelihood of working families in our community. My office is committed to holding these individuals accountable for this serious crime,” said United States Attorney Tompkins.

“Ms.Cox embezzled funds from her employer and then tried to hide the income from the IRS,” said IRS Special Agent in Charge Hammett. “People who attempt to hide income can and will be prosecuted.”

Cox will be allowed to self-report to begin service of her prison term once the Federal Bureau of Prisons has designated a federal facility where she will serve her sentence. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

The investigation was handled by IRS and FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark T Odulio of the United States Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.

MN Woman Charged with Embezzling Funds from Minnwest Bank


A Minnesota woman is facing federal charges for allegedly embezzling “hundreds of thousands of dollars” from the bank where she worked, Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney’s office said Tuesday.

Barbara Kaye Rechtzigel, a 47-year-old woman from the southwestern Minnesota town of Belview, is accused of stealing funds from the certificate of deposit (CD) accounts of customers of Minnwest Bank in Marshall.

Rechtzigel is accused of stealing customers’ money over the course of more than a decade—1998 through June 2012—for her personal use. Court documents state that she’s accused of stealing “hundreds of thousands” of dollars; U.S. Attorney’s office spokeswoman Jeanne Cooney said Wednesday that investigators are still compiling evidence to calculate the exact amount of money that Rechtzigel allegedly embezzled, so the office is unable to provide a more specific dollar amount at this time.

Rechtzigel faces one count of embezzlement by a bank officer, and she was charged via information, which generally indicates that a plea agreement is expected. She faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Youngstown woman indicted on embezzlement by bank employee in Ohio

A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Danielle Ladigo, age 28, of Youngstown, Ohio, with one count of theft, embezzlement, or misapplication by bank officer or employee, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

The indictment charges that from January 2008 through December 2009, Danielle Ladigo, an employee of Huntington National Bank, embezzled moneys belonging to Huntington National Bank in an amount greater than $1,000, the deposits of which were insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, by taking cash while loading the bank’s cash dispensing machines (CDMs).

The indictment was presented to the grand jury by Assistant United States Attorney Christos N. Georgalis after an investigation by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after a review of factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.