Former Nantucket Bank Employee Sentenced To Prison For Role In Fraud Conspiracies

Rushell Harris, a former Nantucket Bank employee, was sentenced on Thursday to four months in prison and two years of supervised release, one of which will be served in home confinement, for her role in two fraud conspiracies.

Harris, 32, of Nantucket, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs. Harris was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $161,038 and forfeiture of $90,925.

On Oct. 8, 2021, Harris pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts, between approximately June 2014 and November 2018, Harris engaged in two separate wire fraud conspiracies.

In the first conspiracy, Harris exploited her position at Nantucket Bank by obtaining personally identifiable information of a customer and secretly taking photographs of the victim’s account information. Harris then shared that information with co-conspirators who attempted to transfer funds out of the customer’s bank account without authorization.

In the second conspiracy, Harris helped perpetuate a fraudulent lottery scheme where she targeted at least 13 victims who were contacted by co-conspirators via phone, informing them that they had won large prizes, and that in order to receive the funds they needed to pre-pay taxes on their winnings. These prizes, in reality, never existed.

After victims made an initial payment, they were advised that additional advance payments were required for expenses such as insurance, transportation or other international customs’ fees. Harris and her co-conspirators transferred proceeds of the scheme to associates in Jamaica and in the United States.

The announcement of this sentencing was made by United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. They said that valuable assistance was provided by the Nantucket Police Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mackenzie A. Queenin of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

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