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Ex-Citigroup executive Foster sentenced to 8-year term

June 29, 2012|Bloomberg News

Former Citigroup Inc. Vice President Gary Foster was sentenced to 97 months in prison for embezzling almost $23 million from the bank, according to federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York.

Foster pleaded guilty to bank fraud in September, admitting that he transferred money from various Citigroup accounts to his own at JPMorgan Chase & Co. He concealed his activities by making false accounting entries, according to the government.

He used the money to buy real estate and luxury sports cars, including a Ferrari and a Maserati, prosecutors said. The government has seized or restrained property from Foster valued at a total of $14 million.

"I executed a scheme to defraud Citigroup," Foster told U.S. District Judge Eric Vitaliano at his plea hearing last year in Brooklyn. "I directed funds to be wired into my personal account at JPMorgan."

Foster, of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, was arrested last June at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport after returning from Bangkok. Foster, who worked in the bank's treasury finance department, transferred money from various Citigroup accounts.

Under nonbinding sentencing guidelines, Foster faced a maximum of about 10 years in prison. John Diat, a spokesman for New York-based Citigroup, declined to comment.

"The defendant violated his employer's trust and stole a stunning amount of money over an extended period of time to finance his personal lifestyle," U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in Brooklyn said last year.

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