One of two Washington Mutual-affiliated brokers implicated in a conspiracy to steal securities from an Oregon bank customer has been indicted on charges of mail fraud.
John E. Malosh, a broker at Murphey Favre, a unit of Seattle-based Washington Mutual Inc., was indicted last week in U.S. District Court in Eugene, Ore.
The charges stem from the arrest June 19 of Mr. Malosh and Christopher R. Millard, a former broker at Murphey Favre. Police have accused the two of burglary, forgery, and the theft of more than $850,000 worth of stocks, bonds, and jewelry belonging to an elderly customer of the bank.
The indictment alleges that Mr. Malosh "did cause a limited trading authorization to be placed in the U.S. mail" in an attempt to cash in some of the stolen bonds. The indictment brought to light more details of the case that last month unleashed a flood of calls from Washington Mutual brokerage customers.
Christopher L. Cardani, assistant U.S. attorney, said according to the indictment that Mr. Malosh and Mr. Millard had two meetings with Pearle Ridenour, the 98-year-old victim. During those meetings, the brokers discovered that Ms. Ridenour had hidden the securities in her vacant home.
After the theft, Mr. Malosh allegedly forged Ms. Ridenour's name and rented a mailbox. Subsequently, a limited trading authorization for some of the bonds was sent via the U.S. Postal Service by Mr. Malosh, prosecutors said.
Mr. Cardani would not comment on the case but did say that the investigation is continuing and other indictments may follow.
William Erlich, a spokesman for Washington Mutual, said the bank had been contacted by the U.S. attorney and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It also has completed the first phase of its internal investigation and concluded "no customer accounts were compromised," he said.