A bank teller in Washington D.C. has pleaded guilty to stealing $185,000 from a homeless customer at the bank he worked at and spending it on things like vacations to Jamaica. The U.S. Attorney's Office of D.C. and the FBI's Washington field announced Phelan Davis, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property which is a felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years in federal prison. Davis was working at a Wells Fargo bank in Georgetown when he met the victim, according to court records. The victim was unnamed but court documents described the victim as a homeless, longtime customer of Wells Fargo who earned their money with a street vendor business.
The victim went to the Wells Fargo branch where Davis worked in October of 2014 to deposit thousands of dollars into one of their accounts which they brought in a garbage bag full of cash. The victim could not deposit the money into his accounts because they were locked due to inactivity, Davis informed the victim of where to find the relevant documents to activate his accounts once again. Later that month, Davis noticed the customer had a "surprisingly large balance", that is when Davis forged the victim's identity and opened an account in his name without their consent. Davis was also in control of the ATM card and PIN that was associated with the forged account. Over a period of two years, Davis withdrew a total of $1185,440 from the victim's accounts over 144 visits to various ATMs.
Since the victim was homeless he was unable to check his balance on anything but an ATM but Davis knew how to make the withdrawals without them reflecting in the ATM account balance. It is unclear how the victim attained such a large amount of cash or how law enforcement was able to catch Davis. A sentencing date has yet to be determined but the U.S. Attorney's Office of D.C. says the average prison sentence ranges from 18-30 months in jail.
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