Riverside, California - A San Bernardino County man faces federal criminal charges that he masterminded a bank account “bust-out” scheme that defrauded Wells Fargo out of $2.4 million and compromised more than 900 of its accounts.
Steven Michael Banks Hubbard Jr., a.k.a. “Marcus” and “Man,” 36, of Rialto, was charged in an 11-count federal grand jury indictment returned. Hubbard, who was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on December 6 and remains in custody, was indicted on nine counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. His arraignment is scheduled for December 26 in United States District Court in Riverside.
The indictment alleges that, between May 2015 and July 2019, Hubbard executed his scheme to defraud by first convincing individuals to open a checking account at Wells Fargo. Once the accounts were opened, the customers gave Hubbard their debit cards, PIN codes, and their personal identifying information, the indictment alleges.
Using a customer’s account, Hubbard allegedly would deposit an average of more than $2,000 in cash into the customer’s account via a Wells Fargo ATM. Typically the same day, Hubbard would withdraw the cash that he had deposited into the customer’s account, according to the indictment.
Hubbard would then call Wells Fargo customer service, impersonate the bank customer, and report the debit card as being stolen; resulting in the cash withdrawal being deemed as fraudulent, according to an affidavit filed with a criminal complaint in this matter. Wells Fargo then would issue a provisional credit in the amount Hubbard claimed had been fraudulently withdrawn from the account, the affidavit states. Once Wells Fargo deposited the provisional credit into the account, Hubbard allegedly immediately withdrew that money as well. In some instances, Hubbard repeated the scheme on the same account until Wells Fargo closed the account due to fraudulent activity, according to the affidavit.
The indictment alleges Hubbard committed specific acts of bank fraud on several occasions in December 2017, March 2019 and May 2019.
Wells Fargo estimated the loss to the bank to be $2,433,341 and involved approximately 950 compromised accounts, according to the affidavit. Wells Fargo informed law enforcement of Hubbard’s alleged “bust-out” scheme.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, Hubbard would face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for each count of bank fraud and two years in federal prison for each count of aggravated identity theft.
The FBI investigated this matter, with assistance from the United States Secret Service, the Rialto Police Department, and investigators from Wells Fargo.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jerry C. Yang of the Riverside Branch Office.