DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT OF 37 MEMBERS OF ORGANIZED CHECK FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING RING

Members of Conspiracy Stole from at least 30 Bank Accounts

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of 37 individuals in connection with a forged check and money laundering ring based in Brooklyn that compromised at least 30 bank accounts at JP Morgan Chase Bank (“Chase Bank”) and Citibank, and stole more than $150,000. All of the defendants are charged with Conspiracy, and the ringleaders are additionally charged with Grand Larceny, Money Laundering, and in some cases, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument and Identity Theft.[1]

The charges arise from a joint investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, the NYPD’s Special Frauds Squad, the United States Secret Service Credit Card Squad, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

“Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in New York City,” said District Attorney Vance. “Dismantling these increasingly sophisticated conspiracies requires the kind of multi-agency coordination and partnership that led to today’s charges. My Office’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to prosecute criminal rings that steal personal identifying information for their own enrichment.”

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “These 21st century bank robbers didn’t rely on notes or guns, instead they stole identities, forged checks and withdrew thousands of dollars that didn’t belong to them. But our Financial Crimes Task Force was able to piece together digital clues and shut down their operation. I commend the NYPD detectives, federal investigators and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for catching these thieves.”

Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service Brian G. Parr said: “The Secret Service New York Field Office continues to work closely with its local law enforcement partners, collaboratively investigating a broad spectrum of financial fraud schemes. The hard work and dedication of those involved in this investigation has thwarted further fraudulent activity by this group. Financial fraud and identity theft continue to be a top investigative priority for the U.S. Secret Service.”

Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Ronald Verrochio said: “Bank fraud impacts all New Yorkers. The Postal Inspectors will continue to work with the Manhattan District Attorney to identify and bring to justice those individuals who prey on our financial systems for their personal gains through fraud.”

According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, from approximately December 2009 to October 2010, ringleaders EARL A. BARRANCO, a/k/a “HOOD,” 25, MAURICE HILTON, 24, ANDRE BEVANS, 20, and JD DAP CUZ offered Chase Bank and Citibank accountholders money in exchange for access to their bank accounts. The defendants then created counterfeit checks using the account information of at least 30 uninvolved individuals and deposited these checks into the accounts owned by their co-conspirators. Once the funds were available for withdrawal, the defendants fraudulently withdrew or directed the withdrawal of money from tellers and ATM machines. The defendants also used the ATM cards of these Chase Bank and Citibank accountholders to purchase more than 250 United States Postal Money Orders fraudulently.

To date, the fraud has resulted in a loss of more than $100,000 from Chase Bank and more than $50,000 from Citibank. According to documents filed at court, BARRANCO used a portion of the stolen money to fund his lifestyle, which included purchases at luxury retail establishments, restaurants, and clubs.

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. The following persons also assisted in this investigation: Cybercrime Analyst Richard Barbieri, Forensic Account Biagio Rosano, Selena Ley of the High Technology Analysis Unit, Investigator Erin Donovan, Senior Investigator Robert Muldoon, and former intern John Cusick.

District Attorney Vance thanked NYPD Detective Richard Providence, Deputy Inspector Gregory Antonsen, Special Agents Matthew Wagner and Daniel P. McGoldrick from the United States Secret Service, and Inspector Ketty Larco of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their assistance. District Attorney Vance also thanked Chase Bank, including Fraud Investigator Dorothy Petrillo and Citibank, including Senior Investigator Juergen Krauss, for their cooperation.



Defendant Information:

EARL BARRANCO a/k/a “HOOD,” D.O.B. 7/22/1986

Edgewater, NJ

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 2 counts
Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, 2 counts
Money Laundering in the Second Degree, Class C Felony, 1 count

AUDLEY BARRANCO, D.O.B. 06/30/1959

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 2 counts
Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, 2 counts
Money Laundering in the Second Degree, Class C Felony, 1 count
Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a Class D Felony, 1 count
Identity Theft in the First Degree, a Class D Felony, 1 count

LAVARDO BARRANCO, D.O.B. 5/19/1980

Turks and Caicos Islands

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 2 counts
Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, 2 counts
Money Laundering in the Second Degree, Class C Felony, 1 count
Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a Class D Felony, 1 count
Identity Theft in the First Degree, a Class D Felony, 1 count

MAURICE HILTON, D.O.B. 03/29/1987

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 2 counts
Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, 2 counts
Money Laundering in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, 1 count

ANDRE BEVANS, D.O.B. 2/13/1991

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 2 counts
Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, 2 counts
Money Laundering in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, 1 count

CHRISTIAN R. CAMPBELL, D.O.B. 3/29/1989

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

KEMAR COHEN, D.O.B. 5/30/1987

Uniondale, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

EBONY COLLINS, D.O.B. 1/17/1987

Norcross, GA

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

ARIELLE CRUMP, D.O.B. 10/22/1990

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

KERVENS DUFOUR, D.O.B. 3/24/1986

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

ALLISON GNOINSKI, D.O.B. 11/20/1985

Kearny, NJ

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

LASHAA HARRIS, D.O.B. 5/3/1989

New York, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree – Class E Felony- 1 count

ANTOINE HAWKINS, D.O.B. 12/2/1989

Springfield Gardens, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

JELISA FRANKLIN, D.O.B. 5/13/1989

Hamden, CT

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

CODEL GLEAN, D.O.B. 6/24/1989

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

BRITTANY GRAY, D.O.B. 11/30/1987

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

ROBERT HUNTER, D.O.B. 7/18/1992

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

JAMES R. LEVEILLE, D.O.B. 12/31/1986

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

TYIESHA M. LLEWELLYN, D.O.B. 1/6/1992

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

SHANTI MITCHELL, D.O.B. 12/19/1983

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

KENNISE MOSLEY, D.O.B. 6/13/1991

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

JEFFREY PIERRE-LOUIS, D.O.B. 10/19/1988

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

KENNETH S. PRICE D.O.B. 7/20/1987

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

CRYSTAL REED, D.O.B. 7/22/1991

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

DANITA SADLER, D.O.B. 5/7/1989

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

DALE AUSTIN SMALL, D.O.B. 8/8/1974

Far Rockaway, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

NORA SANTIAGO, D.O.B. 7/18/1973

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

MARLON SCOTT SINCLAIR, D.O.B. 4/4/1991

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

TEPREME SCALES, D.O.B. 6/17/1991

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

JOVANNA SOTO, D.O.B. 9/30/1988

Far Rockaway, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

BRITNEY WATSON, D.O.B. 11/6/1987

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

TIFFANY YATES, D.O.B. 2/11/1986

Brooklyn, NY

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 1 count

5 JOHN DOE DEFENDANTS:

Charges:

Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, 5 counts
Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, 5 counts
Identity Theft in the First Degree, a Class D Felony, 4 counts
Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a Class D Felony, 4 counts

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