A former Wells Fargo employee who resides in Garden Grove is among eight people the federal government accuses of being part of a fraud ring that included bank workers who stole customer account numbers to eventually drain money from those accounts.
Jamal Hurley, 39, is one of four former Wells Fargo employees named in an FBI announcement of Tuesday's arrest of Ronald "Disco Ronnie" Reed, a 69-year-old Inglewood man accused of being the ringleader of the fraud that's claimed to have cost the bank $1.4 million.
Reed, Hurley and the others–including three whose names are not yet known–are charged in two indictments returned by the federal grand jury in Los Angeles last week alleging conspiracy to commit bank fraud and other related counts. The other defendants who are named are also former Wells Fargo employees: Michael Hester, 35, of Los Angeles; Garrick James Davis-Looney, 22, of Torrance; and Jonathan Lawrence Cobbs, Jr., 35, of LA.
The indictment alleges Reed recruited the bank employees in 2013-14, asked them to access the bank's computer records and then purchased personal identifying information belonging to bank customers, including dates of birth, account numbers, driver's license numbers and social security numbers.
Once he had that information, Reed allegedly directed the currently unidentified "runners" to use fake IDs to impersonate the bank customers and make substantial cash withdrawals from the customers' accounts. In some cases, the runners also used customer accounts to deposit worthless checks and receive cash back, adds the indictment that tracks the alleged fraudulent transactions from bank branches across Southern California, Nevada and Minnesota.
Each bank fraud count a defendant faces carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison, according to the FBI, which was joined by the U.S. Secret Service in the investigation as well as this week's arrest of Reed. Wells Fargo Bank fully cooperated, the bureau adds.
Investigators are reaching out to the public in hopes of finding the three runners who have not yet been identified. Call the FBI at 310.477.6565 if you have helpful information.