Statement from the Chair about Stolen Public Funds
Over the 2018 Memorial Day weekend, ANC 3C was the victim of an illegal online scheme to siphon funds from its checking account. Within a week, the ANC Treasurer discovered the illegal activity and froze the account.
According to the police, who have an ongoing investigation, the criminals were part of an international scam that relied on securing bank account information of victims in other states so that the illegal checks drawn on the ANC account could be deposited and then funds withdrawn. The police do not know yet how the ANC check image was duplicated, but all ANC checks are accounted for and none are missing. The police have informed the FBI because it is unclear how large this scam was and where it originated. Unofficial reports that it was centered in Afghanistan have not been confirmed and are based on one victim sending cell phones to that country.
The Bank of America cashed the checks even though many did not have the required two signatures of an ANC 3C officer and none of the names matched the authorized check signers on file at the bank. The D.C. Office of the Attorney General has been working with the Bank of America to restore the stolen public funds. Approximately $3,800 was restored immediately, leaving an outstanding balance of $19,000. ANC 3C closed the Bank of America checking and savings accounts and opened accounts at another neighborhood bank.
ANC 3C was the victim of check fraud once before in September 2017 when a single check for approximately $4,500 was fraudulently written on the ANC account. The bank restored the funds.
ANC 3C has been cooperating fully with the MPD investigation and with OAG lawyers, who are assisting with this matter. In addition, we have been working with the D.C. Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions to prevent this type of criminal activity from affecting other ANCs. it is shocking, sad, and deeply frustrating to ANC 3C that we were targeted and public funds were stolen. We want this crime solved and we are indebted to the MPD for its diligence and skill in pursuing the case and to the OAG for its help in restoring the public funds.
As there are updates on this case, the ANC will post them on this website.