For Immediate Release
Bank Employee Admits Role in Fraud Conspiracy
PROVIDENCE – A Providence woman who was previously employed by Citizens Bank admitted to a federal judge that she stole the banking information of unsuspecting individuals, businesses, and a law firm, and then provided that information to the leader of a bank fraud conspiracy, who used it to create fraudulent personal and business checks, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
Savonnah Briggs, 28, admitted that, while employed by the bank, she accessed customer information and check images, and provided screenshots of that information to Richard Kobi, 27, of Providence. Kobi then used the stolen information to create fraudulent checks that he deposited into his own bank, or that he provided to other individuals that he solicited on Facebook and paid to deposit the checks into bank accounts they controlled. After the checks were deposited, Kobi and others made, or attempted to make, rapid withdrawals of cash from ATMs or bank tellers.
According to information presented to the court, members of the conspiracy created and deposited approximately $330,000 worth of counterfeit checks.
On Thursday, Briggs pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. She is scheduled to be sentenced on April 25, 2023. The defendant’s sentence will be determined by a federal district judge after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Richard Kobi pleaded guilty on April 27, 2022, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, ten counts of bank fraud, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced in December 2022 to three years in federal prison.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ly T. Chin.
The matter was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with the assistance of the FBI, United States Secret Service, ATF, Rhode Island State Police, Providence Police Department, and Delaware State Police.