SALEM, NH – A Salem bank manager created accounts for dead customers and used those accounts to steal more than half a million dollars.
Kazi Pervez, 41, pleaded guilty on Monday to federal bank fraud during a hearing held via video for the United States District Court in Concord. Pervez had been the manager at the Salem Santander Bank branch when he started the scheme in 2016, according to court records.
Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Hunter said Pervez used his authority as bank manager to get employees to open accounts using the identities of dead customers. These dummy accounts would typically have little to no money in them, and Pervez would then approve the overdrafts and withdraw money from the accounts, according to Hunter. He then moved that money to accounts out of the bank.
Pervez also took large sums left in the inactive accounts of dead customers, for example he took more than $100,000 from one dead customer and deposited it into an account he controlled, according to Hunter. Hunter said Pervez used the money to pay for his and his wife’s expenses. At one point, he took $75,000 from another dead customer and used that to pay his wife’s credit card, according to Hunter.
By the time bank investigators caught on to the scheme, Pervez had moved more than $450,000 out of the Santander accounts, and he controlled another $50,000 in his fraudulent accounts, according to Hunter. Part of the plea agreement has Pervez forfeiting more than $400,000 to the government to make restitution.
Pervez’s guilty plea set up possible prison time, though that will be determined at his Aug. 5 sentencing hearing. Pervez remains free on personal recognizance until sentencing. During his wait for the sentencing hearing, Pervez plans to go to the Dominican Republic for a week, his attorney Michael
Natola told Judge Landya McCafferty. Pervez and his wife were invited to a destination wedding being held on the Caribbean island. McCafferty allowed the trip noting that the pre-sentence report showed he is a good risk.