DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT OF MAJOR ORGANIZED CYBERCRIME RING

Indictments Charge 28 Individuals with Counterfeit Check Fraud 
 
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of 28 individuals in connection with “Operation White Rover,” a forged check and identity theft ring based in Brooklyn that compromised bank accounts at TD Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank and Citibank locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Charges in the indictment include Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, Identity Theft in the First Degree, Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree. The crimes charged in the indictment total 99 counts in two separate conspiracies: 88 counts arising from the conspiracy against TD Bank, which occurred between August 2009 and April 2010, and 10 counts from the conspiracy against JP Morgan Chase Bank, which occurred between October 2009 and April 2010.

The defendants were targets of a joint investigation by the New York County District Attorney’s Office’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, the New York City Police Department Special Frauds Squad, and the United States Secret Service Credit Card Squad.

“Identity theft costs honest New Yorkers millions of dollars each year. It is one of the fastest growing crimes in Manhattan over the past five years,” said District Attorney Vance. “This criminal conspiracy is accused of stealing personal information from unsuspecting victims. We must be one step ahead of increasingly organized and sophisticated criminal organizations, which requires the kind of multi-agency coordination and partnership that led to today’s charges.” 

According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record, beginning in and around August 2009, members of this forged check ring obtained personal identifying information, such as the names, bank account numbers, and debit card numbers of victims, and then used the information to create counterfeit checks.  In some instances, members of this ring recruited a bank employee to work with them in allowing fraudulent bank transactions to occur.  The recruiters and managers of this check cashing ring travelled with the check cashers to various TD Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank, and Citibank locations to negotiate the counterfeit checks.  The check casher would present the forged check, and turn the money over to the recruiter/managers, who would then pay the check cashers a percentage of the money for their participation in this ring.

During this operation, defendants SAMETH SO, LORENZO THOMPSON, JOSE DE LA ESPADA, SHAMIR HUDSON, BRANDON HALL and TIFFANY GRANT recruited and managed a number of check cashers, who targeted banks in Manhattan and Brooklyn. They also recruited JP Morgan Chase Bank employee DANIELLE SCOTT to allow fraudulent bank transactions to occur inside JP Morgan Chase Bank.  The recruiters and managers supplied the check cashers with counterfeit checks, provided for their travel, and directed them to cash these counterfeit checks in Manhattan and elsewhere. 
 
The dollar loss from JP Morgan Chase and TD Bank totals over $150,000.

The investigation into both conspiracies is ongoing.

Assistant District Attorney Joanne Y. Li is handling the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney David Szuchman, Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Patricia O’Connor, Deputy Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau.  Assistant District Attorney Beth Potashnick assisted with the prosecution of the case. Cybercrime Analysts Jasmine Mucha and Richard Barbieri also assisted, along with Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau Intern John Cusick.

District Attorney Vance thanked Inspector Gregory Antonsen of the NYPD Financial Crimes Task Force and Detective Carolyn Shabunia of the NYPD Special Frauds Squad.   District Attorney Vance also thanked Brian Parr, Special-Agent-in-Charge of the United States Secret Service New York Field Office and Special Agent Matthew Wagner of the United States Secret Service Credit Card Squad. 

Defendant Information:  

SAMETH SO a/k/a MAX, D.O.B. 12/30/1984
Brooklyn, New York
*Note: SO is charged in the conspiracy against TD Bank and JP Morgan Chase Bank.
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, two counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, two counts
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, forty counts
  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, thirty-nine counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, four counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, nine counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Petit Larceny, a class A misdemeanor, two counts

LORENZO THOMPSON a/k/a BENZO, D.O.B. 2/11/1989
Brooklyn, New York
*Note: THOMPSON is charged in the conspiracy against TD Bank and JP Morgan Chase Bank.
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, two counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, two counts
  •  Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

JOSE DE LA ESPADA a/k/a RAY, D.O.B. 8/8/1986
Brooklyn, New York
*Note: DE LA ESPADA is charged in the conspiracy against TD Bank and JP Morgan Chase Bank.
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, two counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, two counts
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, thirty-nine counts
  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, thirty-nine counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, four counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, nine counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Petit Larceny, a class A misdemeanor, two counts

BRANDON HALL a/k/a BOOGA, D.O.B. 9/24/1989
Brooklyn, New York
*Note: HALL is charged in the conspiracy against TD Bank and JP Morgan Chase Bank.
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, two counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, two counts
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, thirty-nine counts
  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, thirty-nine counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, four counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, nine counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Petit Larceny, a class A misdemeanor, two counts

SHAMIR HUDSON a/k/a SHA, D.O.B. 4/15/1987
Brooklyn, New York
*Note: HUDSON is charged in the conspiracy against TD Bank and JP Morgan Chase Bank.
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, two counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, two counts
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, thirty-nine counts
  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, thirty-nine counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, four counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, nine counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Petit Larceny, a class A misdemeanor, two counts

DANIELLE SCOTT, D.O.B. 8/2/1989
Brooklyn, New York
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

PRISCILLA BROWN, D.O.B. 11/1/1965
Brooklyn, New York
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
                                    
TRAQUANA DARDEN, D.O.B. 9/4/1990
Brooklyn, New York
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

ANGELA FLORES, D.O.B. 5/21/1990
Brooklyn, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count

CHANEL MITCHELL, D.O.B. 5/20/1988
Brooklyn, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

JEFFERY METELLUS, D.O.B. 3/11/1990
Queens, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

QUASHEEN HUTSON, D.O.B. 6/14/1988
Brooklyn, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, two counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, two counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

TIFFANY GRANT, D.O.B. 1/19/1989
Brooklyn, New York
*Note: GRANT is charged in the conspiracy against TD Bank and JP Morgan Chase Bank.
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, two counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, two counts
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

MASOMAKALI HASAN a/k/a MAS, D.O.B 6/27/1989
Brooklyn, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one counts
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, thirteen counts
  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, thirteen counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count 
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Petit Larceny, a class A misdemeanor, one count

EDWARD PRYCE, D.O.B. 9/17/1988
Staten Island, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, four counts
  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, four counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, , a class D felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

ZAKIYA IVORY, D.O.B. 1/8/1992
Bronx, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

SPARKLE REID, D.O.B. 4/14/1988
Brooklyn, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, three counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count


CHRISTINA WALTERS, D.O.B. 12/23/1991
Brooklyn, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, seven counts
  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, seven counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count 
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Petit Larceny, a class A misdemeanor, one count

SHANTAVIA BEALE, D.O.B. 7/13/1991
Brooklyn, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

MIRIAM JONES, D.O.B. 9/20/1989
Brooklyn, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

NIEISIA EVERETT, D.O.B. 12/18/1989
Brooklyn, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

FRITZLENE DURAND, D.O.B. 11/13/1987
Brooklyn, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

AIESHA DURAND, D.O.B. 11/13/1987
Bronx, New York
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

JAMEL HENDERSON, D.O.B. 3/9/1988
Brooklyn, New York
Charge:
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

DARYL SAMUEL, D.O.B. 3/26/1987
Brooklyn, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, one count
  • Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

JAZMINE DANIELS, D.O.B. 6/18/1989
Brooklyn, New York
Charges:
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count

A class C felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, a class D felony is punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a class E felony is punishable by up to 4 years in prison, and a class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail.

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