Federal authorities say a bank employee in North Jersey has been charged with fraudulently withdrawing federal retirement benefits from the account of a former customer who had died several years ago.

35-year-old Jorge Nova of Passaic has been charged with one count of wire fraud.

According to officials, in 2014, Nova was an employee at a commercial bank in Nutley where a customer received Social Security Administration (SSA) retirement benefits via direct deposit.

The SSA was not notified of the beneficiary's death and continued to deposit retirement benefits into that person's bank account for more than four years, until October 2018.

Nova fraudulently obtained funds from the beneficiary’s account by causing debit cards to be issued to himself in the beneficiary’s name, which he then used to drain the retirement benefits from the beneficiary’s bank account. Nova also registered new accounts with a money service provider in the name of the deceased beneficiary and withdrew money from a second bank account held in the beneficiary’s name.

Nova, in total, fraudulently obtained more than $105,000, per authorities.

The count of wire fraud that Nova is facing could send him to prison for up to 30 years with a $1 million fine.

The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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