Bank CFO jailed for fraud and embezzlement

News Desk

The 61 year old former Chief Financial Officer of a bank in California has been jailed for three years for embezzling USD700,000 from the bank and fraudulently obtaining life insurance in the name of colleagues to benefit his wife.

Sammy Sims joined Eastern International Bank in the Chinatown district of Los Angeles in September 2017. From February 2018 until at least April 2021 he systematically defrauded the bank and committed other offences.

Between August 2018 and October 2020, he transferred USD86,000 from the bank's own account to part-pay personal tax liabilities for himself and his wife with United States Treasury and California Franchise Tax Board. Then, using the credential applicable to his job, he deleted those entries in the bank's books and created false entries that the payments were for the bank's tax accounts.

In April 2019, Sims transferred a little more than USD14,000 to a debt collection agency that were chasing him. Again, he falsified the bank's records, this time to show that the money was for the purchase of software.

Over a period of 18 months, he used almost USD115,000 to discharge personal credit card bills, falsely entering the payments as expenses incurred by the bank and he used his corporate credit card for personal expenses amounting to almost USD82,000.

SIms' wife was a life insurance agent. Sims told several colleagues that their policies - paid for by the bank - had to be changed to another company. His wife received a commission on each new policy. Worse, using the personal information about several policies, he bought life insurance policies from his wife and transferred more than USD310,000 to the insurance policies towards premiums on these policies, again, earning commission for his wife.

In total, Sims took USD737,849 of the bank's own money.