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Guilty plea in $17M fraud

A Springfield man pleaded guilty Tuesday to helping an accomplice steal more than $17 million from a bank where he worked, federal authorities said in a statement.

Sissaye Gezachew, 32, was as an assistant vice president at the financial institution, United Bank, when he helped Osama El-Atari, 31, use nonexistent life insurance policies to get fraudulent loans, prosecutors said.

Gezachew accepted about $150,000 in bribes from El-Atari for signing off on the loans and creating fake financial documents, authorities said. He faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 3.

El-Atari, a Loudoun County restaurateur, pleaded guilty to bank fraud and laundering charges in April.

-- Mike McPhate

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 17, 2010; 8:01 AM ET
Categories:  Fairfax , Financial Crimes , From the Courthouse , Loudoun , Updates  
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