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.
Although UJA Federation may be the highest profile organization to have a lapse in its security, it certainly is not the only one. Nelson’s boyfriend, Roberto Millar, sold cars at Brooklyn’s Open Road Audi. It is there, Assistant District Attorneys assert, the defendant mimicked his live-in girlfriend to steal and sell customer financial account information. Beyond these two alleged co-conspirators, Nicola Bennett, the compliance officer at AKAM Associates, Inc., and Karen Chance, a teller at Chase Bank, are alleged to have either accessed, stolen or reproduced customer and client information as well. All told, the defendants collectively are believed to trafficked in social security numbers, dates of birth and bank account information for a solid one thousand people. In doing so, some members of these groups allegedly took over credit card accounts, recruited individuals to get them access to legitimate accounts, and even created fake checks. If nothing else, the crews (if true) where certainly full service providers.
Giving himself a shout out to his prosecutions previously spearheaded by his merry band, Manhattan District Attorney Vance proclaimed: “From ATM skimmers, to waiters stealing credit card info, to the exploitation of systemic weaknesses in bank systems, we are attacking cybercrime and identity theft head on.” Sadly, despite his and other law enforcement efforts, the volume and amount of financial loss associated with Identity Theft appears to be exploding in magnitude in New York and well beyond. Prosecutors can and will continue to pursue and investigate these and other fraud schemes, but until they get more support from banks and other institutions they will continually fight an uphill battle.
Founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors, Crotty Saland PC represents the accused through the New York City area. One of our criminal attorneys, Jeremy Saland, served in the predecessor to the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau.
To learn more about Grand Larceny, Identity Theft and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, please review the CrottySaland.Com website and this blog as well as the NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyers.Com website and associated blog at NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyersBlog.Com
PROSECUTORIAL AGENCY Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
CRIMES CHARGED Grand Larceny in the First Degree (NY PL 155.45): Theft of property valued in excess of $1 million. This offense is a “B” felony.
Grand Larceny in the Second (NY PL 155.40): Theft of property valued in excess of $50,000, but not greater than $1 million. This offense is a “C” felony.
Grand Larceny in the Third (NY PL 155.35): Theft of property valued in excess of $3,000, but not greater than $50,000. This offense is a “D” felony.
Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree (NY PL 155.30): Theft of property valued in excess of $1,000, but not greater than $3,000. This offense is a “E” felony.
Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree (NY PL 165.45): Possession of stolen property valued in excess of $1,000, but not greater than $3,000. This offense is a “D” felony.
Identity Theft in the First Degree (NY PL 190.80): Depending on the particular theory or subsection, this crime occurs when there is a use of personal identifying information of another while perpetrating a “D” felony or where services or property is obtained valued in excess of $2,000. This offense is a “D” felony.
Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree (NY PL 170.25): The possession of a fake or fraudulent document, credit card, check or other object that is possessed with the intent to defraud. This offense is a “D” felony.
“B,” “C,” “D,” and “E” felonies are punishable by up to twenty-five, fifteen, seven and four years respectively.
* The above definitions are limited and are not a complete translation of the law. For a complete verbatim reference, review the New York State Penal Law.
THE ACCUSED YOUNES ABIDAR, MERCY ADEBANDJO, KARRONE ALFRED, JAMEL ANNUZIATA, JAMAAL ANTHONY, NICOLA BENNET, JOSIAH BOATSWAIN, ERICA BROWN, MARK CAMPBELL, KAREN CHANCE, KINO CHARLES,UMAR CREDLE, DIOR KYLE DUMOY, CORNELIUS GARY, CLAUDE GASKIN, JOANNA GIERCZACK, TAFARIE GLASGOW, AJIRE GOLDEN, LIANA GUISCHARD, DAN HAZAN, ALDORAY IRVING, ALTON JAMIESON, ELLORA SMITH JULIUS, CHARLES KELLY, ALRICK CARMEN KOFFI, DEAN MAPP, MOISE, SHAHEIRA MOODY, TRACEY NELSON, ANTHONY PARKER, ANDY PETTITHOME, HANSEY JEAN PIERRE, RICHARD RAMOS, DARRYL RIELY, JESSICA RODRIGUEZ, KURT RUSSELL, LAQUASHIA SEABERRY, DARRYL SYNCON, CHRISTOPER TENN, JONATHAN TUCKER, NICOLE LEACH VITALIS, EVELYN WALKER, JETANE WEBSTER, BRANDON WHITE, CARLOS WHITE, SHAUN WILLIAMS