Keenya Meshell Banks, age 41, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was charged by criminal complaint with access device fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain and use DEA government credit cards. Ms. Banks was arrested and had her initial appearance on December 18, 2014, in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt. She was released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.
The charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Michael Tompkins of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Banks worked as a DEA Program Manager in Northern Virginia, and was responsible for the approval and issuance of government credit cards to DEA employees. The affidavit alleges that from June 2010 through October 2014, Banks fraudulently acquired 33 DEA credit cards.
Specifically, Banks allegedly submitted applications that included the names and identifying information of individuals who did not work for DEA and therefore were not eligible to receive DEA government credit cards. On at least one occasion, Banks submitted an application that matched a current DEA employee. The employee never received the card and Banks allegedly used the personal information of the employee without the employee’s knowledge or approval. The credit cards were ordered by Banks via email, and the cards were sent to Banks via Federal Express or other mail, based on her certification on the applications.
The criminal complaint alleges that Banks used the cards at Automated Teller Machines in Maryland and Northern Virginia, withdrawing approximately $115,841.74 over the course of the scheme. No payment was ever made to the credit card issuer.
Banks faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for access device fraud; 20 years in prison for wire fraud; and a mandatory two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for aggravated identity theft.
A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Thomas P. Windom, and Trial Attorneys Justin Weitz and Richard B. Evans from the U.S. Department of Justice, Public Integrity Section, who are prosecuting the case.