• Bank-fraud ring leader gets 5 years in prison

    Tags: Security

The leader of a family-run banking scheme in which ATMs were used to steal about $800,000 is headed to prison.

After being indicted in March, Kenneth A. Norris, 27, of St. Paul, Minn., pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis reported. On Jan. 18, Norris was sentenced to five years and three months in prison.

A prepared statement for the Star Tribune from the U. S. attorney's office said Norris and relatives Robin E. Brown, 39; Germany D. Norris, 37; Alice L. Norris, 29; and Demetrice R. Norris, 25, recruited more than 80 helpers referred to as "runners."

Once the runners opened checking accounts at U.S. Bank branches, the family team used new ATM cards to make fraudulent deposits, the Star Tribune reported. The deposits were made with checks from closed bank accounts the relatives controlled.

The day after the deposits were made, the runners were taken to local casinos to withdraw as much as $2,800 from the accounts through cashiers or ATMs at the casinos, according to the prepared statement. Each runner reportedly received between $50 and $1,000 for their participation in the scheme.

Kenneth Norris, Alice Norris, Demetrice Norris and Brown pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money, according to the Star Tribune. Germany Norris pleaded guilty to bank fraud.

Brown was sentenced to three years and Germany Norris to one year and nine months in prison earlier this month.

A sentencing date has not been scheduled for the other family members.

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