Ex-Citigroup VP accused of stealing $19 million

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former vice president at Citigroup Inc was charged with bank fraud on Monday for allegedly embezzling more than $19 million from the company's accounts.

Gary Foster, 35, was arrested Sunday at John F. Kennedy International Airport on a flight arriving from Bangkok, prosecutors said. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance Monday afternoon in Brooklyn federal court, where he will plead not guilty to the charges, according to his attorney, Isabelle Kirshner.

Between May 2009 and December 2010, Foster allegedly transferred $19.2 million from Citigroup accounts to his own personal bank account at Chase.

Foster put fake contract and deal account numbers in the wire-transfer instructions to make them seem like they were supporting an existing contract, before diverting them to his own accounts, prosecutors alleged.

"The defendant allegedly used his knowledge of bank operations to commit the ultimate inside job," said U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch.

A representative for Citigroup did not immediately return a request for comment.

(Reporting by Jessica Dye; editing by Gunna Dickson)