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Relationship Banking

Tax return documents: Form 1040 - U.S. individual income tax return form and Social Security number card.
Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

A banker-customer relationship is based on trust. And the more a customer trusts their banker, the more likely they are to keep their accounts with the bank. Relationship banking was Jorge Nova’s specialty. Nova worked at a commercial bank in the town of Nutley from 2011 until April 2015. He began withdrawing money from a customer’s account in January of 2015. A money allocation special service provided only by Nova. The customer didn’t mind though. Although he may not have given Nova permission to take his money either. See, the customer passed away six months prior.

The deceased customer had been receiving Social Security Administration (SSA) retirement benefits via direct deposit. For whatever reason, the Social Security Administration was not notified of the beneficiary’s death and continued depositing monthly $2,372 in retirement benefits into the bank account for more than four years after his death.

We know why stealing from the dead is popular with fraudsters. They don’t complain. For several years, Nova fraudulently obtained funds from the beneficiary’s account by causing debit cards to be issued to himself in the beneficiary’s name, which he then used to drain the retirement benefits from the beneficiary’s bank account. Nova also registered new accounts with a money service provider in the name of the deceased beneficiary and withdrew money from a second bank account held in the beneficiary’s name. On April 17, 2024, Nova pled guilty to stealing more than $105,000 from the deceased.

Excellent job by the special agents of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General with regards to this case.

Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Bank Employee Admits Stealing Federal Benefits Intended for Deceased Customer” published by New York Daily News on April 18, 2024.

A former employee at a New Jersey bank pleaded guilty to stealing more than $105,000 in Social Security benefits from a dead customer. Jorge Nova, 35, of Passaic, admitted to one count of wire fraud Newark federal court on Wednesday and is scheduled to be sentenced in October, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Nova was employed at a bank in Nutley between 2011 and April 2015. Shortly after a customer died in August 2014, he began fraudulently withdrawing from their account, federal authorities said. The Social Security Administration was never notified of the beneficiary’s death and continued depositing $2,372 into their account every month, according to the indictment.

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