The mostly elderly clients of Wells Fargo Bank in Ardsley, who put faith in their personal banker William Saffian, may feel some justice knowing that he is currently behind bars and faces several felony charges for allegedly stealing more than $535,000 from 14 clients.
“This defendant carefully targeted his victims, preying on the elderly and those who were not paying close attention to their bank account balances,” said Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore. “His almost daily electronic transfers of thousands of dollars should be a reminder to all of us to monitor our accounts and remain vigilant.”
Saffian, a Yonkers resident, is accused of creating joint bank accounts between unaffiliated customers and allegedly making dozens of illegal withdrawals and transfers between several accounts while he was employed at the Saw Mill River Road bank between Aug. 23, 2010 and Jan. 10, 2012.
In order to do this, the 29-year-old allegedly impersonated customers over the phone or Internet and modified the addresses where customer’s statements were sent to make ATM, check and/or counter withdrawals, police said. Most of the victims were over the age of 80.
The bank notified the district attorney’s office in February 2012, who started an investigated along with the U.S. Postal Inspector and the U.S. Secret Service.
"William Saffian no longer works for the company," said Emily Phillips, the northeast communications consultant for Wells Fargo. "Our customers were not held responsible for unauthorized charges on their Wells Fargo accounts. This is an ongoing legal matter, which is being handled by the Westchester County District Attorney’s office. We can’t comment any further and we continue to cooperate with them."
Saffian was arrested and arraigned in Ardsley Village Court on Thursday. He was charged with:
- one count of grand larceny in the second degree, a class “C” felony
- three counts of forgery in the second degree, class “D” felonies
- three counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, class “E” felonies
- one count of scheme to defraud in the first degree, a class “E” felony
He was remanded to Westchester County Jail and is expected to appear back in village court on Jan. 28 and could have a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison if convicted on the top count.