No Service, No Honor

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Partial view of Social Security card, US Treasury checks and hundred dollar bills. Finance and retirement concept.

The last thing you want to hear is that your banker is not trustworthy. That’s the case for a former branch manager at a Las Vegas bank, who has unfortunately gone rogue. (Clearly, what happened in Vegas was discovered.)  

Montano was recently sentenced to two years and six months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of theft of government funds. Montano fraudulently obtained nearly $1.2 million in benefits from the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides financial assistance to veterans who have dedicated their lives to serving and sacrificing for their country. Montano sought to abuse his position as a branch manager to defraud these government benefit programs and defile the memory of veterans who served their country. (Clearly duty, honor, valor are words that mean nothing to him.)  

While working as a branch manager of a Las Vegas bank in 2015, Montano learned of two accounts within the bank that had large balances, but no activity. The first account was held by a Las Vegas resident who was receiving SSA retirement benefits. The individual passed away in February 1997. The SSA was not notified about the individual’s death, and benefits continued to be paid into the account.

The second account was held by a Las Vegas resident who was receiving both SSA retirement benefits and VA benefits. The individual passed away in June 2011. Neither the SSA nor the VA was notified about the individual’s death, and benefits continued to accumulate in the account.

Montano ordered debit cards for the accounts of the deceased and used the debit cards to withdraw the money from the accounts. (This money rightfully belonged to the SSA and VA.) Once withdrawn, Montano deposited the money into his personal bank account or spent it on personal items. He also ordered and wrote checks using the accounts. (Montano was bankrolling his lifestyle at the expense of the American taxpayer.)

Due to his position as a branch manager, Montano was able to authorize a $35,000 cashier’s check from one of the accounts. Montano spent this money on a luxury car. (Definitely saw that coming.)  Between August 2015 and June 2020, Montano fraudulently obtained approximately $436,686.80 in SSA benefits and $757,985.88 in VA benefits that belonged to the deceased individuals.

In addition to going to prison, Montano was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $1,196,075.95 in restitution to the SSA and the VA. (I bet he’s searching for that ‘Get out of jail, free card.’)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Former Las Vegas bank manager sentenced for stealing nearly $1.2M in benefits from social security and veterans affairs,” published by KLAS on January 4, 2021.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A former branch manager of a bank in Las Vegas was sentenced Monday to two years and six months in prison after pleading guilty to fraudulently obtaining nearly $1.2 million in benefits from the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada, the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration Gail S. Ennis, and the VA Inspector General Michael J. Missal, announced the sentencing of 57-year-old Javier Montano on Monday.

 

 

 

 

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.