Feds say man stole $10.5M from bank

By Vic Micolucci, General assignment reporter, vic@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 24 2014 05:27:01 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 24 2014 06:40:00 PM EST

VIDEO: Local banker Christopher Boston's involvement in a 10 Million dollar fraud scandal could bring him years behind bars.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Federal agents say the vice president of a Mandarin bank embezzled $10,542,374 million from his employer and clients and is facing decades in prison.

Christopher Boston, identified by neighbors as the man in this picture, was indicted last week for defraud clients Fifth Third Bank out of millions of dollars between 2009 and last year.

According to the indictment, Boston falsified records and defrauded the bank. Court records show Boston signed a plea agreement that admitted to the charges against him that guarantees he won't be charged with anything else.

DOCUMENT: Indictment of Christopher Boston

As part of the plea deal, Boston faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, plus he'll have to pay back what he can.

"You usually see (fraud) in excess of, maybe, $1 million to $3 million," said financial expert Titus Pittman. "To be able to pull off a scheme of $10 million, that's getting up there."

Pittman says it appears Boston cooked the books, making clients think they had money in their accounts, but the money was really gone. Investigators say Boston found a way to steal under the radar, amassing millions in a short period of time.

Investigators say Boston used the money that he stole from the bank and his clients to make mortgage payments on his Mandarin home and build a lavish pool.

"It takes a lot of thought in doing something like this," Pittman said. "Coming up with a way to actually process without being detected on the radar. And also in a time -- between the audits. So this person knows when the next audit will be; knowing what accounts can be set up to be undetected."

Boston's attorney, Harry Shorstein, declined to comment on the case. Neighbors say Boston had young children who he frequently walked to the bus stop.

The bank issued this statement on Monday:

"We cooperated fully with the authorities in this investigation. He is no longer employed with Fifth Third Bank. We have worked with impacted customers and no customer will suffer a loss. Anyone who would have been potentially impacted would have been contacted by the bank. Therefore, other customers should not be concerned about their accounts."

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus