A former Regions employee is going to federal prison after pleading guilty to the theft of more than $300,000 from an elderly bank customer.
Montreal Holley, 28, has been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for theft of funds, according to Middle District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr. He also will be on supervised release for three years once his sentence is complete, and he’s been ordered to pay restitution.
According to court documents, Holley became the manager of a Regions Bank branch in Montgomery in May of 2018. Around December of 2018, Regions discovered he had wired $188,000 from an elderly customer’s account to his own account at another bank. Regions began to investigate, with the assistance of the United States Secret Service. The elderly customer passed away shortly after the investigation began.
Regions Bank and the Secret Service discovered that Holley had convinced the elderly customer that she could trust only him to handle her money and he took a total of $313,448.83 from her account over a matter of months. He issued cashier’s checks, made wire transfers, and even issued a debit card on one of her accounts and used it to make ATM withdrawals.
According to statements made during his sentencing hearing, Holley paid off loans for himself, his wife, his girlfriend, and other family members. In one example, he transferred $23,266 from the customer’s account to pay off a car loan. He initially told investigators that the elderly victim directed him to make the transaction, but the investigation revealed that the loan paid off a car driven by Holley’s girlfriend.
After he was caught, Holley returned $188,000 of the stolen funds, Franklin said. At his sentencing hearing on Friday he was also ordered to pay the remaining $125,448.83 in restitution to Regions Bank, who had previously credited the stolen funds back into the victim’s account.
“This case is upsetting in many ways, and it serves as a reminder that criminals are targeting some of the most vulnerable people in our society,” Franklin said. “Holley selected his victim because of her advanced age and illness. He thought he would get away with stealing her money because no one would notice. Fortunately, Regions Bank discovered the suspicious activity in her account. We must all be vigilant and take action when necessary to protect our senior family members and friends from being exploited.”
“Montreal Holley, working in his position of trust and authority as a Branch Manager for Regions Bank, took advantage of an elderly client to steal over $300,000 from her,” said Patrick Davis, Special Agent in Charge with the United States Secret Service, Birmingham Field Office. “Regions Bank investigators should be commended in this case. Their investigators quickly identified suspicious account transactions and brought it to the attention of the U.S. Secret Service Montgomery Resident Office. Their quick response and thorough investigative support stopped this defendant from further financially exploiting the elderly victim in this case.”
Don White, head of Corporate Security for Regions, said the bank has a continuous focus on detecting and preventing elder financial abuse. “While we remain heartbroken for the family affected by this crime, we are grateful to the investigators and prosecutors who worked tirelessly with us in pursuing justice,” White said. “Regions Bank is steadfastly committed to protecting the people we serve, and this case reflects our determination to identify and combat any instance of elder financial exploitation. We appreciate the teams that worked together to thoroughly investigate this matter and take appropriate action.”