James Island bank branch manager pleads guilty to stealing thousands from employer

A James Island bank branch manager has admitted to stealing more than $35,000 from his employer over the course of seven months, according to federal court documents.

Russell Matvay, whose age and address were not available, pleaded guilty as part of an agreement to a charge of bank fraud and a charge of aggravated identity theft.

From 2012 to March 4, Matvay was the branch manager of SunTrust Bank, located at 850 Folly Road on James Island. Prior to that, he was a branch manager at Regions Bank in Charleston.

Court documents state that Matvay devised a scheme in August 2014 to defraud SunTrust by taking money under fraudulent pretenses. He began inflating the balances of accounts that he created using personal information he had taken from other individuals, the documents state.

The information he stole was taken from previously closed accounts of family members or clients of Regions Bank, according to the documents.

Matvay would process over-the-counter withdrawals and credits to the accounts he created knowing there was no real money being moved as a result of the transactions, the documents state.

He would forge a balance after his daily shift at the bank to make it look like his teller drawer was “in balance,” but then would take out cash and either spend it or deposit it into his personal Bank of America account, the documents state.

The plea agreement that Matvay signed states that the amount he stole through the charge of aggravated identity theft is $35,284.68 and the amount he stole through bank fraud is $500. He no longer works at the bank, according to court documents.

Matvay’s 2014 Infinity QX60 will be forfeited as part of his sentencing, according to the agreement. He is facing between 21 and 27 months in prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughtonPC.