Phenix City man facing 31 fraud charges was personal banker at Wells Fargo
Jeremy Keith Pritchett, 40, pleaded not guilty Thursday morning in Columbus Recorder's Court to 17 counts of financial transaction card theft, 14 counts of identity fraud and 10 counts of financial exploitation of an elderly person. He was ordered Mike Haskey - The Ledger-Enquirer
A man accused of 31 fraud charges involving Hurricane Irma evacuees was a personal banker at Wells Fargo, Columbus police said.
Jeremy Keith Pritchett, 40, of Phenix City pleaded not guilty Thursday in Columbus Recorder’s Court to 17 counts of financial transaction card theft, 14 counts of identity fraud and 10 counts of exploitation of an elderly person after his Nov. 6 arrest at 3201 Macon Road. After waiving his hearing, he was ordered held on bonds totaling $41,000 in the Muscogee County Jail.
The suspect is accused of taking $16,000 from victims in the case that started almost two months ago. In a report on Sept. 26, police said an evacuee who came to Phenix City temporarily from Palmetto, Fla., went to Wells Fargo at 101 13th St. Sometime between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sept. 12, she asked a bank cashier for a copy of her savings balance. The woman said she was told that Jeremy Pritchett was the only one who could give her a copy of her savings account balance before the cashier went to get the man from his office.
The woman said her account had $90,000 at the time. Police said Pritchett used his position as a personal banker at Wells Fargo to gain access to personal information on several individuals accounts. An investigation revealed he allegedly opened debit cards in the 14 victims accounts. For some, more than one card was opened in an account.
Police also said 10 of the victims were over age 65 and had very little income.
Attempts the Ledger-Enquirer made Thursday afternoon to reach Wells Fargo for comment were unsuccessful, but they released a statement the following day addressing the incident.
Crystal Drake, a spokesperson with company, said Pritchett is no longer with Wells Fargo. She went on to say that she can’t comment any further on personnel information.
“Our customers affected will not be held responsible for any unauthorized charges and will be reimbursed for any fraudulent activity committed to their Wells Fargo accounts,” Drake said. “At Wells Fargo, we expect our team members to adhere to the highest standards and ethics and business conduct and because this is an ongoing legal matter we cannot comment further at this time. We will continue to cooperate with the Columbus Police Department in their investigation.”
-Staff writer Sarah Robinson contributed to this report.
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