NEWS RELEASE   FROM:
Amy Cornell, Public Information Officer
(408) 792-2997   CONTACT PERSON:
Cherie Bourlard, Deputy District Attorney
(408) 792-2519   For release on May 14, 2010     EX-BANK MANAGER TO BE SENTENCED FOR STEALING MONEY FROM ELDERLY BANK CUSTOMERS
Following an investigation by the San Jose Police Department’s Fraud Unit, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office Elder Fraud Unit issued a criminal complaint against ex-Bank Manager Maurizio Contarino with charges including Theft from an Elder and Grand Theft. Contarino pleaded no contest to the charges in April 2010.   Since 2004, Contarino was a branch manager at Bank of America on Lincoln Avenue in Willow Glen, San Jose. Several elderly customers had received ATM cards without having requested one. This prompted Bank of America Security to initiate an investigation. It was determined that Contarino accessed elderly victims’ accounts through the use of the company’s computer system using other employee’s computer terminals, which had been left on and unattended. Without their knowledge and/or consent, the defendant changed the addresses on the elderly victims’ accounts to reflect the bank address. The defendant then ordered duplicate debit cards, knowing they would be delivered to the bank. Afterward, the defendant entered the company system again and changed the victims’ address to reflect their true residences. The defendant intercepted the debit cards and used the victims’ PINS to withdraw funds from their residence. When San Jose Police arrested Contarino, they found two more debit cards in the names of elderly customers. Officers also seized his Italian Passport.   The defendant ultimately confessed his crimes to SJPD Fraud Investigator John Carrillo. Contarino said he targeted customers with financial means, and that he believed the customers would get their money back once they learned they needed to file a claim against the bank. He said he had been doing this for about two years, and it involved about six customers, names of whom he did not remember. He stated he felt entitled to the money and disillusioned by the bank. Bank of America Security received claims from only two elders, in the overall amount of $18,300. The bank reimbursed these victims. After criminal charges were filed, the defendant paid restitution to the bank. Mr. Contarino is scheduled to be sentenced on May 27, 2010 at 9:00am in Dept. 30.   Anyone with information about this crime, or who thinks they might be a victim is requested to call the San Jose Police Department’s Financial Crimes Division at (408) 277-4521.   ###

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