WILKES-BARRE — A former investment broker at PNC Bank in Scranton pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges connected with a half-million dollar scheme authorities said he pulled off over several years.
Nicholas Polito of Dunmore was charged last week with bank fraud and Wednesday admitted he stole from his own customers. More than $500,000 of money he helped them invest at PNC Bank in Scranton.
Polito’s attorney said Wednesday that Polito wants to make it right and plans to pay all of the money back.
In his first court appearance since being charged with bank fraud, former PNC investment broker Nicholas Polito admitted his guilt.
In federal court in Wilkes-Barre, prosecutors explained how Polito scammed eight of his customers out of half a million dollars.
Polito worked at PNC Bank in downtown Scranton until last year. It was between 2005 and 2011, when prosecutors said Polito would transfer money from his customers’ investment accounts into his personal account.
It wasn’t until another PNC employee noticed the transfers that the US Attorney’s office started investigating. They found Polito stole more than $500,000.
The maximum sentence for bank fraud is 30 years in prison, but in exchange for his guilty plea Polito’s attorneys asked the judge if Polito pays all the money back that he get the minimum sentence. That could be a sentence of just probation.
“Restitution is definitely an important component of the sentencing process, and a determination that Mr. Polito has to fulfill,” said defense attorney Larry Moran.
Neither Polito’s attorney nor prosecutors would say where the half million Polito stole went or if he will actually be able to pay it all back.
“It’s a day when he’s continuing to take responsibility for his mistakes and he’s prepared to do what needs to be done to address them and correct them,” added Moran.
The judge does not have to stick to Polito’s plea agreement, meaning he could still be given the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and $1 million fine. Polito will be back in court in January for sentencing.