Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Florida Man Indicted On Federal Bank And Wire Fraud Charges
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the return of an indictment charging Leigh Farrington Fiske (52, formerly of Tampa) with three counts of bank fraud and seven counts of wire fraud affecting a financial institution. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison.
According to the indictment, Fiske opened a business trust account at a national financial institution’s local branch, in Tampa, for a shell company that he controlled. Beginning in June 2010, Fiske deposited or assisted in depositing multiple checks that had purportedly been written to his company by legitimate third-party businesses and financial institutions. In fact, none of the deposited checks were genuine; all had been counterfeited or altered. After the fraudulently obtained funds posted to the account, Fiske would quickly move the money offshore, wire it to accounts held by other shell companies that he controlled, and make withdrawals and other transfers for his own benefit. The intended loss of the scheme was over $485,000.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric K. Gerard.