U.S.: Former bank employee Raminder Rekhi pleads guilty to fraud scheme

SAN FRANCISCO, California: Raminder Singh Rekhi, 41, of San Francisco, has pleaded guilty to theft, embezzlement, or misapplication of bank funds in connection with a scheme to illegally make loans.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Wells Fargo’s internal investigation team. The plea was accepted on November 13 by Charles R. Breyer, Senior U.S. District Judge.

Rekhi was a long-time employee of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”).  Pursuant to his plea agreement, Rekhi admitted that in 2017, he used his position at Wells Fargo to convince a Wells Fargo customer to purchase what he told her was a Wells Fargo certificate of deposit (“CD”).  Rekhi acknowledged that there was no CD, and that instead, Rekhi diverted the customer’s money into other accounts under his control.  

Once the money was under his control, Rekhi entered into a series of transactions in which he used the funds as capital to make loans to three separate individuals.  In so doing, Rekhi misappropriated the deposits entrusted to the care of Wells Fargo and, because the subsequent loans were not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, placed the deposits at risk.

On April 18, 2019, a federal grand jury indicted Rekhi, charging him with one count of theft, embezzlement, or misapplication of bank funds.  He pleaded guilty to the charge.  

Judge Breyer ordered Rekhi released pending sentencing; the sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 18, 2020.  Rekhi faces a maximum statutory sentence of 30 years in prison, five years supervised release, and a fine of $1,000,000, plus restitution and special assessments.  However, any sentence following conviction will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence.

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