The mostly elderly clients of Wells Fargo Bank in Ardsley, who put faith in their personal banker William Saffian, may feel some justice knowing that he is currently behind bars, facing several felony charges for allegedly stealing more than $535,000 from 14 clients.
“This defendant carefully targeted his victims, preying on the elderly and those who were not paying close attention to their bank account balances,” said Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore. “His almost daily electronic transfers of thousands of dollars should be a reminder to all of us to monitor our accounts and remain vigilant.”
Saffian, a Yonkers resident, is accused of creating joint bank accounts between unaffiliated customers and allegedly making dozens of illegal withdrawals and transfers between several accounts while he was employed at the Saw Mill River Road bank between Aug. 23, 2010, and Jan. 10, 2012.
In order to do this, the 29-year-old allegedly impersonated customers over the phone or Internet and modified the addresses where customer’s statements were sent to make ATM, check and/or counter withdrawals, police said. Most of the victims were over the age of 80.
The bank notified the district attorney’s office in February 2012, who started an investigated along with the U.S. Postal Inspector and the U.S. Secret Service.
Saffian was arrested and arraigned in Ardsley Village Court on Thursday. He was charged with:
- one count of second-degree grand larceny, a class “C” felony
- three counts of second-degree forgery, class “D” felonies
- three counts of first-degree falsifying business records, class “E” felonies
- one count of first-degree scheme to defraud, a class “E” felony
He was remanded to Westchester County Jail and is expected to appear back in village court on Jan. 28 and could have a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison if convicted on the top count.