BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A father and son appeared in court Tuesday and were sentenced for committing a bank fraud scheme. They are accused of providing fraudulent information to banks to obtain loans, according to U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr.
Christopher Montalbano, 39, from Vestavia, was sentenced to 180 months in prison and ordered to pay $11,924,471 in restitution. Montalbano pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and money laundering in Nov. 2021.
According to a sentencing memo, Montalbano reportedly targeted banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) in multiple states through his shell companies and obtained millions of dollars in loans from at least 20 different banks. He then used the money to live an extravagant lifestyle which included a private jet, pilots, a personal assistant and multiple high-end vehicles.
“Hopefully, Montalbano enjoyed the short time he had with the luxury items he purchased with money he swindled from federally insured banks, as he will now pay for his crimes with years behind bars,” Sharp said. “American citizens can be assured that the FBI will continue to pursue predators who drag down our economy by deception for their own personal gain,” Sharp added.
His father, Gus Montalbano, 77, of Vestavia, pleaded guilty to conspiring with his son to commit bank fraud.