Former Wells Fargo employee swindled elderly man out of $800K

Former Wells Fargo employee swindled elderly man out of $800K

MINT HILL, N.C. — A former Wells Fargo employee posed as a financial advisor and scammed an elderly man out of $800,000.

Michael Filipidis, 24, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges.

Court documents stated that while Filipidis worked at a Wells Fargo call center in Mint Hill he pretended to be a financial advisor and tricked an elderly man into handing over account information.

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Officials said once Filipidis had the victim's information, he opened brokerage accounts using his own phone number and email as the contact and made himself the beneficiary.

According to court documents, he then transferred money from the victim's new account and life insurance policies to bank accounts that he controlled.

To make sure the victim didn't receive any notifications about what he was doing, court documents state Filipidis changed the mailing address, email and phone number on all the victim’s Wells Fargo accounts to his own information.

Between December 2018 and February 2019, Filipidis stole more than $800,000 of the victim’s funds for his personal use, according to documents.

Channel 9's Blaine Tolison was outside the courtroom when Filipidis walked out after taking a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Tolison asked Filipidis why he would take the life savings of a senior citizen, but his attorney wouldn't let him answer the question.

Filipidis is facing a maximum of 20 years and a $250,000 fine for the wire fraud charge and a mandatory minimum term of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft charge.