JPMorgan Chase Banker Pleads Guilty to ID Theft

Saturday, July 23, 2011



Defendant Stole More Than $1.1 Million from JPMorgan Chase

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the guilty plea of HAO “HOWIE” WANG, 28, for stealing more than $1.1 million from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPMC”) and stealing the identities of four victims. 

WANG pled guilty to Grand Larceny in the First Degree, Identity Theft in the First Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, Forgery in the Second Degree, and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree.

“The defendant took advantage of his access to the confidential files and accounts of customers who entrusted their money to JPMorgan Chase & Co.,” said District Attorney Vance.

“Last year, we formed the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, a consolidation and enhancement of our existing resources, to fight these kinds of crimes. This Office remains committed to bringing to justice employees at financial institutions who abuse their positions to commit larceny.”

WANG is a former business banker at JPMC. According to documents filed in court, WANG’s criminal scheme occurred between February 2008 and February 2009. During that period, the defendant used various methods to conduct his scheme.

For example, on or around February 28, 2008, the defendant fraudulently obtained a loan from JPMC in the amount of $100,000 by using the identity of a particular person without that individual’s knowledge or authorization.

The defendant created false bank documents in the name of this victim, who was not a JPMC customer, causing the bank records to appear as the victim opened the account and applied for the loan himself.

Subsequently, $90,000 of the stolen money was transferred to bank accounts outside of the United States.  WANG then depleted the remaining $10,000 via debit card purchases and cash withdrawals.

According to documents filed in court, several months later, in June 2008, WANG stole the identity of an actual JPMC customer and falsified business documents to create a fictitious account, Future Global Co. Ltd., in that victim’s name.

WANG then fraudulently transferred $250,000 from the individual’s authorized JPMC account into the fictitious account. Subsequently, WANG transferred $200,000 of the stolen money to bank accounts outside of the United States, and used $46,000 to purchase an Audemars Piguet watch.

In February 2009, the defendant stole the identities of two additional JPMC customers. Using these stolen identities, the defendant was able to transfer $139,536 and $700,000 from the victims’ bank accounts to bank accounts outside of the United States.

Assistant District Attorneys Vimi Bhatia and James Cesarano of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau prosecuted this case under the supervision of Michele Shulman, Deputy Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, and Richard Weber, Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau and Deputy Chief of the Investigation Division. Chief Investigator John Bilich, Supervising Rackets Investigator Jose Flores, Senior Rackets Investigator Terrence V. Hayes, and analysts Aaron Davidowitz and Samantha Gillespie also assisted in the investigation and prosecution of the defendant.

District Attorney Vance also thanked the High Intensity Financial Crimes Area for the New York Region, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program, Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey, and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for their assistance.


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