A federal grand jury has indicted Kenneth Gould, 65, of Clovis, charging him with bank larceny for stealing more than $1 million from Wells Fargo Bank.
Gould was indicted on Oct. 7, and Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced the charges on Wednesday in a news release.
Gould will be arraigned on Thursday, federal officials said.
Gould faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million if he is convicted.
How the Alleged Fraud Worked
According to court documents, Gould is a CPA who owned and operated Paytech Payroll. From October 2017 through March 2018, he initiated more than 90 fraudulent payments via electronic transfers totaling over $20 million from one of his clients’ accounts to his payroll company’s account at Well Fargo Bank.
Based on its prior business relationship with Gould, the bank credited the fraudulent payments to the payroll company’s account before it realized there were insufficient funds to cover the payments, deny them, and attempt to recover its money, court documents state.
Over $1 million of the credited funds, however, was gone because Gould withdrew the money while the payments were pending. Gould withdrew the money in cash, cashier’s checks, and online transfers to other accounts to which he had access. The bank made several demands to Gould for repayment. He repeatedly failed to fulfill promises to repay the funds, according to the indictment.
The FBI investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Barton is the prosecutor.