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Friday, May 10, 2013

Former Citizens Bank Teller Sentenced for Embezzlement in Massachusetts

A former bank teller was sentenced today for committing bank fraud in connection with her embezzlement of $377,000 from Citizens Bank.

Maria DaSilva, 54, of Smithfield, Rhode Island, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns to 27 months in prison, to be followed by 36 months of supervised release, and ordered to pay $377,926 in restitution. In January 2013, DaSilva pleaded guilty to bank fraud.

From February 2008 through January 2012, while she was working as a bank teller at the North Attleboro branch of Citizens Bank, DaSilva embezzled over $375,000 from the accounts of three elderly bank customers by forging withdrawal slips on various accounts they held.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today.

The case was investigated by the Lakeville Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Sternberg of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

In addition, DaSilva was ordered to pay $377,926 in restitution.
In January 2013, DaSilva, a teller at the Citizens Bank branch at Stop & Shop, pleaded guilty to stealing the money from the accounts of three elderly bank customers from February 2008 to January 2012 by forging withdrawal slips on the various accounts they held, according to prosecutors.
During the course of the fraud, DaSilva stole from the account of one elderly victim to cover her misdeeds when a family member of a victim who died came to close the accounts to settle the estate, according to court records.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Sternberg sought a 30-month sentence, noting that DaSilva stole from elderly victims she knew were vulnerable. He discounted her claims of financial and family hardships, noting the large amount of money she stole in a short period of time.
Saying the embezzlement was not a single occurrence, Sternberg wrote in an 11-page sentencing memorandum that "it involved the care, craft and cunning to execute the criminal activity on almost 100 separate occasions over a nearly 4-year period.
The victims were identified only by initials in court records and their losses were covered by Citizens Bank.
A federal public defender for DaSilva, Christopher Skinner of Boston, argued against incarcerating his client. He recommended a probationary period of five years with six months of home confinement on an electronic bracelet.
Skinner wrote in a 15-page sentencing memorandum that DaSilva was not motivated by greed, gambling debts or substance abuse problems. He said she incurred financial hardships after her husband was twice convicted of drunken driving and was fired from his job. In addition to being the sole bread winner in the family, DaSilva was also the sole caretaker of an elderly mother with dementia, Skinner said.
"She did not adopt a lavish life style or buy expensive cars or jewelry," Skinner wrote.
The public defender also noted that DaSilva, the mother of two sons who are about to enter the military, felt remorse over her crime, cooperated with bank investigators and was admitting to the bank fraud before prosecutors had to seek a grand jury indictment.
The case was investigated by the Lakeville office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


  1. My Father of 82 with Dementia and my recently deceased Mothers life savings were stolen from them in a similar fashion by a so called bank manager. we are hoping the USDOJ,and or local FBI will investigate and find justice for them.

  2. I have been with Citizens Bank for 4 years .The customer service in this bank has exceeded my expectations. Manager helped me get organized in a way that has helped me grow my business. I recommend that any young entrepreneur or start up to get signed up with their business banking services as it can be difficult for an artist/creative person to get organized. I also have an account here and I am very satisfied with this bank. Incidentally, if you are searching information about Citizens Bank you can find it here