Gary Foster, a former vice president at Citigroup's treasury finance department, has been arrested for his alleged involvement in a $19 million fraud.
According to the charges, between May 2009 and December 2010, Foster had transferred millions of dollars from different Citigroup accounts into his own account on eight separate occasions. Foster also moved approximately $900,000 from Citigroup’s interest expense account and nearly $14.4 million from Citigroup's debt adjustment account to the bank's cash account between July 2010 and December 2010.
Later, he had transferred all the money to his personal account.
The defendant allegedly used his knowledge of bank operations to commit the ultimate inside job, said Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Foster has also been charged for using counterfeit contracts and deal numbers to mask the transfers.
On Sunday morning, Foster was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport when he arrived on a flight from Bangkok.
Foster’s attorney said Monday that “he returned voluntarily and is prepared to address the issue.”
Foster’s charges were announced by the U.S. Attorney's office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Meanwhile, Citigroup responded to Foster's deed by expressing outrage. We are outraged by the actions of this former employee,“ Citi informed law enforcement immediately upon discovery of the suspicious transactions and we are cooperating fully to ensure Mr. Foster is prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Shannon Bell, a spokeswoman for New York-based Citigroup,
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York had just received the complaint and was reviewing the charges, according to Kirshner. These are serious charges and we will investigate them fully, she said.
The egregious behavior of those who would exploit our banking system for personal and criminal gain will not be tolerated. We remain committed to investigating and apprehending those who cheat the system,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Fedarcyk declared.
The case is U.S. v. Foster, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York.
Foster is expected to appear before the Brooklyn Courthouse later Monday afternoon. His lawyer, Isabelle Kirshner of Clayman & Rosenberg, said he plans to plead not guilty.
“These are obviously serious charges and we will undertake a serious investigation to defend our client,” Isabelle said in a phone interview by Bloomberg.
If Foster is convicted, he could stay in prison for 30 years.