Two Greenville men pled guilty in federal court Wednesday of bank fraud by check-kiting. 29-year-old Joey Ray Patterson and 30-year-old Tommy Travis Rice opened three accounts at different upstate banks. They then wrote checks drawn on one account with insufficient funds and deposited them into the other accounts, alternating the checks and deposits among the three banks. They also inserted empty deposit envelopes into ATM machines and keyed-in false amounts for deposit. the pattern of depositing worthless checks and false ATM deposits resulted in falsely inflated account balances at the banks. The men would then withdraw monies from the banks and write checks to purchase items based on the inflated balances. Investigators say the banks lost over $20,000 before the kite was discovered.
Patterson and Rice each face maximum sentences of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.