Foley resident sentenced in bank fraud case


MOBILE, Alabama — A Foley resident has been sentenced in federal court to 18 months in prison for bank fraud in a case from January involving Pen Air Federal Credit Union in Robertsdale.

Samuel Maxwell Styron, 66, of Foley was sentenced in federal court by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey U. Beaverstock, according to a release issued Monday by U.S. Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama.

As part of the sentence, the judge ordered that Styron undergo five years of supervised release after finishing his term of imprisonment, pay a $100 mandatory special assessment, receive drug and alcohol treatment as directed by the U.S. Probation Office, and pay restitution totaling $75,631. Bank fraud is a crime punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment under federal law.

According to the release, at a plea hearing Styron admitted to the following facts:

• Starting on Jan. 15, he knowingly executed a scheme in the Southern District of Alabama to obtain funds owned by and under the custody and control of Pen Air Federal Credit Union, a federally-insured financial institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation means of material false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises.

• On Jan. 15, Styron visited Pen Air in Robertsdale and opened up an individual retirement account in his name by means of false and fraudulent pretenses.

• He falsely represented to Pen Air that the account was for his inheritance and that proceeds in the account would consist of personal retirement funds.

In truth, according to the release, Styron admitted he had no intention of depositing personal funds into the account for retirement purposes and using the account as a traditional IRA.

• After Jan. 15, Samuel Maxwell Styron made several trips to Pen Air and engaged in financial transactions associated with the account. For example, in late January 2019 Styron helped arrange for Pen Air to receive a check in the mail totaling $147,249.50 and to deposit the check into his retirement account, which Pen Air did on Feb. 1. The check’s memo line stated, “SAMUEL MAXWELL STYRON (IRA-Deposit).”

• On Feb. 4, Styron and his son, Samuel Warren Styron, entered Pen Air in Robertsdale. While there, the elder Styron wire transferred approximately $72,400 to another financial institution and withdrew approximately $22,000 in cash, a portion of which he later used for various expenditures.

• Around Feb. 6, Pen Air determined that the $147,249.50 check was counterfeit and subsequently notified Styron that “[t]he check(s) you deposited in the amount of $147,249.50 was returned due to “ALTER/FICT.”

On April 25, a federal grand jury for the Southern District of Alabama charged Styron and his son with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349.

On June 28, Moore charged Styron with one count of bank fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344, an offense to which he pleaded guilty the same day before the court.

On Aug. 26, the court revoked Styron’s release conditions and ordered him detained before sentencing due to prohibited drug use.

On June 26, Moore charged the younger Styron with one count of making false statements to a federal agency in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. He pleaded guilty to the offense the same day. As part of his plea, the younger Styron admitted to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about the location of certain funds withdrawn from Pen Air on Feb. 4. On Sept. 19, Beaverstock sentenced the younger Styron to time served and three years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay restitution totaling $10,326.

The FBI and the Robertsdale Police Department investigated the cases, which were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sinan Kalayoglu.