Local News

Prison terms handed out in $1.2M bank fraud

Posted June 10, 2008 4:29 p.m. EDT

— Two brothers and a third man have been sentenced to federal prison in connection with a $1.2 million bank fraud scheme that used college students' debit cards, authorities said.

Eric Davorne Baerga, 24, of Newark, N.J., and Roland Ware, 26, of Raleigh, were each sentenced to 46 months in prison and five years on supervised release, while Ivan Malik Baerga, 31, of Newark, N.J., was sentenced to 51 months in prison and five years on supervised release. Each man also was ordered to pay $437,907 in restitution to various banks.

The three men pleaded guilty last fall to bank fraud and conspiring to defraud BB&T, Wachovia, Bank of America and SunTrust.

Authorities said they paid college students $500 to $1,000 each to use their debit cards and bank account information. Fake checks were deposited in the accounts, and money was withdrawn from the accounts using debit cards before the checks cleared and were found to be fraudulent, authorities said.

More than $1.2 million in bogus checks were deposited in various bank accounts between April 2005 and last July, authorities said.