A U.S. citizen who formerly resided in the Dominican Republic has pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme to steal debit cards from bank customers, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Gregory Jean-Louis, 46, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy to commit bank fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton in Fort Worth.
Mr. Jean-Louis, a U.S. citizen living in the Dominican Republic at the time of his crime, was charged via criminal complaint in November 2019. He was removed from the Dominican Republic to the United States in May 2020. A federal grand jury in Texas returned an indictment against him a week after his arrest.
According to plea papers, Mr. Jean-Louis admits that he and his coconspirators used stolen PII (personal identification information) to obtain debit cards in the names of customers of Bank of America and Citizens Bank.
Posing as actual customers of the financial institutions, Mr. Jean-Louis – also known to his coconspirators as “G.” – reached out to the banks, requesting that they mail duplicate debit cards and PIN numbers to customers’ actual addresses, he admits.
He then directed coconspirators to steal the debt cards and PIN numbers from the customers’ mailboxes, and to send him photos of the cards and PINs so he could activate them.
Using the fraudulently obtained cards, the group withdrew thousands of dollars from customers’ accounts from ATMs across the country, including in Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, California, and Pennsylvania. Much of the money was wired to Mr. Jean-Louis.
The defendant now faces up to 30 years in federal prison. Sentencing has been set for Nov. 20 before U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth.
The United States Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation; the U.S. Marshals Service assisted in Mr. Jean-Louis’ apprehension. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Boudreau is prosecuting the case.