While stealing from the homeless definitely puts you in a lower class of humanity, we’re also wondering why a homeless man is carrying around $185,000!
A bank teller at Wells Fargo, Phelon Davis, 29, stole more than $185K from a homeless customer who came in and tried to deposit a garbage bag full of cash into his account. But it was a two-year operation that only recently came to light!
Davis has pleaded guilty to one federal count of interstate transportation of stolen property, which holds a a prison term up to 10 years.
The victim was only described as a homeless street vendor and longtime Wells Fargo customer, who had more than one account that had gone dormant because of a lack of activity.
Nothing mentioned why a homeless person would have such a large amount of cash in a garbage bag when he showed up to Davis’ bank teller window.
“That’s the million-dollar question,” Davis’s attorney, Bruce Allen Johnson Jr. said. And quite frankly, why be homeless if you had that much cash?!
Davis made a plea, where he acknowledged that the customer had “thousands of dollars of cash” to deposit back in October 2014, but he didn’t have any identification. Davis told the man where to go to get ID documents and a Social Security card.
Davis also noted that there was “a surprisingly large balance with the bank” which he decided to use for his own purposes.
Two days after the homeless man rolled up with his dough, Davis fraudulently opened new accounts by forging the customer’s signature, set up an ATM card, personal identification number, email address and online login that only Davis could control. He funded the account with $3,000 from one of the customer’s other accounts.
Over the next two years, Davis transferred $177,400 to the account, withdrew $185,440 and transported at least $5,000 from ATM’s in the area.
Clearly, the homeless man never received mailed or emails statements, nor had access to a computer and was clueless that the entire scam was going on. He could only see the balance of only one of the checking accounts at an ATM.
Davis used the money for a down payment on his home, paid off personal debt, and took vacations to Aruba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. That’s quite a fun few years!
It’s still not completely clear how Davis was caught, but he has been ordered to pay back the stolen money and he will likely face a sentence of 18-30 months in prison. A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.
image credit: Viktor Hanacek