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Capital One Banker Helped Scammers Steal Tens of Thousands of Dollars: NYPD

 A Capital One banker helped fraudsters walk off with more than $30,000, police said.
A Capital One banker helped fraudsters walk off with more than $30,000, police said.
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DNAInfo/Noah Hurowitz

MURRAY HILL — What's in his wallet?

A Capital One employee worked with a group of fraudsters to steal tens of thousands of dollars from the bank over a period of two months, according to police. He was arrested on June 1 after his employers caught on to the scheme.

Christopher Payano, 22, of Hudson Heights, worked as a banker at the Capital One at 245 E. 34th St., near Second Avenue, where he was in charge of meeting customers one-on-one to open bank accounts, according to authorities.

The fraud started on Dec. 23 of last year, when Payano met with two accomplices, who posed as customers, and helped them open separate bank accounts, according to a criminal complaint.

He then allowed each of them to deposit bad checks into their accounts and immediately withdraw more than $3,000 a piece from each account, police said.

A few days later, on Dec. 28, Payano met with a third accomplice, helped him open an account, allowed him to deposit two bad checks and immediately withdraw more than $3,000 from the account, the criminal complaint states.

The scheme continued a short time later when the suspect copied the account profile, including names and account numbers, of three Capital One customers and passed them to an accomplice, police said.

On Jan. 20, two cohorts of the suspect strolled into the bank and presented tellers with withdrawal slips based on the stolen account profiles, with one scammer walking off with $13,500 and the other swiping $12,000 with the bogus slips, according to the complaint.

Police did not give a sum for the total scope of the fraud, but the scammers walked off with at least $33,000, according to a criminal complaint.

When officers confronted Payano with evidence of his misdeeds he admitted that he knew that all of the withdrawals were fraudulent, police said.

Prosecutors charged the man with five counts of grand larceny, records show. A judge released him without bail pending his next court date on Aug. 2, according to a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

His accomplices are still at large.

A lawyer for Payano did not immediately respond to a request for comment.