Seven Brooklyn residents have been indicted for allegedly using electronic check deposit system to cash money orders multiple times, stealing almost $120,000 from banks, said the Brooklyn DA.
Investigators charged Flatbush residents Jermel Belfast, 30, Kadeem Bryan, 23, Juvaun Clarke, 25, Chevelle Gordon, 20, and Brian McIntosh, 23; as well as East Flatbush resident Steven Leger and Flatlands resident Dakim Willis. The charges include grand larceny and scheme to defraud.
“These defendants allegedly engaged in an intricate scheme to steal thousands of dollars from financial institutions and exploited a loophole in mobile electronic bank deposit applications. These loses turn into financial costs are ultimately passed onto bank customers,” said Acting District Attorney Gonzalez.
The scheme involved fraudulently depositing the same United States Postal Service money orders into multiple bank accounts and cashing the physical money orders using the electronic banking system. According to the indictment, in two years the defendants bought USPS money orders of up to $14,000 and bribed 47 TD Bank, Santander, and Bancorp account holders to use their accounts in exchange for a payout.
At the money order face values, the defendants allegedly stole a total of $118,620 from TD Bank, Santander Bank, and Bancorp.
“Mobile check deposit schemes are one of many fraud schemes gaining popularity in recent years. These schemes present a real challenge for financial institutions and law enforcement. Customer convenience is easily exploited by fraudsters,” said Inspector Charge Bartlett.