Stealing more than mere shekels, multiple alleged Identity Theft and check fraud rings pilfered $2 million from high worth individuals including the accounts of UJA-Federation donors. Although Hank Greenberg may not have noticed a few thousand dollars here or there, the alleged fraudsters are getting more than an “Oy Vey” from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. for their alleged identity thieving. In fact, some of the nearly sixty defendants arrested or accused of various crimes are facing charges including Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a “B” felony punishable by a mandatory minimum of one to three years in prison. The maximum for this crime is eight and one third to twenty five years, but these numbers are all skewed should any of these men or women have prior felony records from the past ten years. While alleged gang association does not necessarily mean a criminal past, prosecutors further claim the many of those arrested in New York were members of the Bloods and Crips.
According to the New York County press release as well as numerous media outlets, the scheme (like many involving Identity Theft) was fairly east to perpetrate. For Example, Tracy Nelson, an employee of the UJA Federation, processed donor checks. This access to sensitive and financial information gave her the opportunity to allegedly take pictures and copy account information of donor checks. It is further claimed by DANY prosecutors that Nelson then sold the copies to other thieves who would open fraudulent checking accounts or credit cards with this information.