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Financial Institution Letters


  U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
In Reply. Please Refer to

Filc No.
Baltimore, MD
April 23, 2001

TIM SURILLO;
ERIKA SAMPSON;
RENZO SALVADOR;
ROBERT CRAIG;
NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE - VICTIM;
FIF;

In approximately December 2000 and January 2001, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Scientific Review and Evaluation Award, Rockledge TWO, MSC 7764, Bethesda, Maryland was defrauded of over $140,000 due to counterfeit check fraud. The NCI has an account at the National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union (NIHCU) in Bethesda, Maryland. During this time period, at least seven counterfeit checks were fraudulently negotiated out of this account.

The counterfeit checks were deposited into accounts in the names of various payees located throughout the United States. Deposits of the counterfeit checks were made most typically through an automated teller machine deposit into an account with withdrawals occurring out of the deposited account within a few days of the initial deposit. There was one instance reported that an actual check was intercepted and cashed, not reaching its intended recipient.

The following is a list of the counterfeit checks that were negotiated and the payee:

Chk# Amount Payee Negotiated Bank
1457 $9,800.00 TIM SURILLO TCF National Bank, Franklin Pk, IL
1629 $48,850.00 KLIPPER ENTERPRISES Fleet Bank, Malden, MA
1349 $9,800.00 ERIKA K. SAMPSON Chase Manhattan Bank, NY, NY
1598 $9,500.04 ERIKA K. SAMPSON Chase Manhattan Bank, NY, NY
1459 $26,500.00 RENZO SALVADOR U.S. Bank, Portland, OR
1629 $28,800.00 RENZO SALVADOR U.S. Bank, Portland, OR

The counterfeit checks have the following characteristics which are different from the legitimate checks: payor information is misspelled "Scientifid", check numbers are printed in red ink, NIHCU address is in bold face type and the authorized signature is handwritten versus a laser printed signature. The account number on the check is 000951671.

Although the NCI account has been closed, it is uncertain if there are additional counterfeit checks that may be passing through financial institutions without detection.

Last Updated 05/15/2001 communications@fdic.gov