NEWARK — The former branch manager of a New York-based international financial institute admitted to using his position to steal more than $200,000 from a New Jersey customer, even after his death.

James Gomes, 43, of Manhattan, pleaded guilty before a U.S. District Judge in Newark federal court this week to information charging him with one count of wire fraud affecting a financial institution.

Gomes accessed a Fort Lee man’s bank account in January 2020 without the victim’s approval, by linking his personal phone number and creating a fake email address, according to court documents. Gomes also used the fake email address to “correspond” with his official bank email address to make it look like the customer was sending instructions to the bank.

In March and April 2020, Gomes fraudulently transferred $208,939 from the customer’s accounts to Gomes’ personal bank accounts at other financial institutions, to his personal investment account, and to pay his personal cell phone bill.

Gomes continued the scheme even after the customer died on April 5, 2020. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted.

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 6, 2024.

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