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Man sentenced in federal bank fraud case

A Snellville man was sentenced to two years in federal prison in a federal bank fraud case, according to court documents.

Simon Ilunga was sentenced June 7 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud. Ilunga was one of three men who has been charged in the case involving more than $100,000 from SunTrust Bank accounts, and the other two men were previously sentenced.

Ilunga was accused of providing another man with names, bank account information and copies of signature cards from SunTrust bank account holders, according to federal court documents.

The other two men drove around to various bank branches between June 2018 and May 2019, including the Oakwood branch on Mundy Mill Road, according to the prosecutor.

The charging documents alleged two withdrawals at the Oakwood branch for $22,497.33 and $8,500.

According to court documents, the account holders were compensated by the bank for the alleged fraudulent withdrawals.

Defense attorney Jerry Froelich Jr. filed a sentencing memorandum detailing his client’s background and medical history, noting that Ilunga has worked in the banking industry since graduating from the University of North Georgia. The attorney also included 11 letters on Ilunga’s behalf from friends and family describing his character and his admittance of guilt.

“This is Simon’s first offense,” Froelich wrote. “It is clear he has accepted responsibility for the offense both by pleading guilty and by admitting his mistake to family and friends.”

The letters attesting to Illunga’s character noted his nature as a “pillar” in the Snellville and Congolese communities.

“His positive energy is not only contagious but life saving,” one letter reads. “His empathy and compassion as a brother never ceases to amaze me. I am constantly reminded that I have a brother who is not only dependable but a blessing as well.”

Upon release from prison, Ilunga will be on supervised release for three years. He is also ordered to pay restitution with the other men sentenced totaling $126,669.84.

Froelich said his client cooperated with the investigation.

“He was under financial pressure at the time, and he made a mistake,” Froelich told The Times.

Previous government documents erroneously listed the man’s name as Illunga.