All Articles Tagged "gary foster"
(Rolling Out) — Legally blind former Citigroup VP Gary Foster had no trouble seeing dollar signs when he devised a scheme to embezzle an estimated $22 million from his employer. Foster, 35, pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn, N.Y., federal courtroom to bank fraud charges, telling the judge, “I did this from my Citigroup office …” He faces up to 10 years in prison, and may be fined as much as $44 million, as part of a plea deal he worked out with federal prosecutors. Of the 12 years Foster spent working for Citigroup, the last eight were spent siphoning off cash — wiring it into his personal Chase bank account. He quit his job in January and was arrested by federal agents in June upon his return from a Bangkok vacation. As a Citigroup VP, Foster earned $100,000 annually, but he lived an extravagant lifestyle that included the purchase of a Ferrari, a Maserati GranTurismo and a BMW 550i — along with the services of a personal chauffeur to drive him around in the cars.
When Gary Foster left for his vacation in Bangkok, he was a wealthy and successful man who most likely thought he had it all. But his trip was cut short when he received information that his former employer suspected the secret behind his success was an elaborate embezzlement scheme.
Bloomberg reports that Foster, a former Citigroup Inc. vice president, is accused of stealing $19 million from the bank and transferring the money to his private account with JP Morgan Chase. The alleged fraud lasted from May 2009 to the end of 2010.
The NY Post reports he used the money to buy a Garden State house for his parents and pay off a mortgage for his ex-wife. He also spent $3 million on a six-bedroom mansion in Englewood Cliffs, NJ and $1.93 million on a Rockefeller Center apartment directly across from the Citi branch on West 48th Street.
“We are outraged by the actions of this former employee,” spokeswoman Shannon Bell from the Citigroup based in New York said in a June e-mail to Bloomberg. “Citi informed law enforcement immediately upon discovery of the suspicious transactions and we are cooperating fully to ensure Mr. Foster is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
The thirty-five year old New Jersey native came back from his Bangkok trip early upon hearing that he was under investigation. He was arrested in June at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York and charged with bank fraud. On June 27, he was released on an $800,000 bond secured by his parents. One of his lawyers, Isabelle A Kirshner, told Bloomberg that her client does intend to plead guilty to the charge.
US Attorney Loretta Lynch says that Foster allegedly committed the “ultimate inside job,” given his position and knowledge of bank operations.
The criminal complaint asserts that Foster managed to move $900,000 from an interest expense account and $14.4 million from a debt-adjustment account to the bank’s cash account between July to December of last year. A fake contract was then created to cover up Foster’s scheme under a pre-existing contract. Through a series of eight transfers, he then had the money wired from the cash account to his personal account.
Foster, who was hired by Citigroup in 1999, left his role voluntarily in January. In his role he supervised the derivative’s unit of Citigroup’s treasury finance department which funds loans and various business transactions within the bank. An internal audit revealed Foster’s wire transfers to his account.
If prosecutors find Foster guilty of the crime, he could face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.