Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

District Attorney, New York County

For Immediate Release
December 07, 2011

DA VANCE: 94 INDIVIDUALS INDICTED IN FRAUDULENT CHECK SCHEME

Check Fraud Ring Responsible for Hundreds of Thousands of Losses to TD Bank; Cybercrime and Identity Theft Fastest Growing Areas of Crime in NYC

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictments of 94 individuals for their participation in a well-organized check fraud ring that relied on bogus checks, electronic transfers of funds between accounts at TD Bank, and the withdrawal of funds from special cash access locations at casinos in Atlantic City and Mohegan Sun and elsewhere. The criminal organization opened more than 90 bank accounts at TD Bank to deposit fraudulent checks, and then used the cash access locations to withdraw money from those accounts. The indictments, which accuse the defendants of stealing more than $450,000 from TD Bank, include charges of Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Grand Larceny in the Second, Third, and Fourth Degrees, and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree.[1]

“This case charges the entire criminal conspiracy from top to bottom—from the masterminds who organized and operated the scam, to the individuals who participated to make a quick buck,” District Attorney Vance said. “Our job is to protect New Yorkers, whether on the streets, online, or in the banking system. The most recent cases brought by my Office’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau show how pervasive cyberfraud schemes are, and how they depend on individuals willing to play various criminal roles. Whether you are a ring-leader or a small player, if you are caught committing fraud, you will be prosecuted.”

Inspector-In-Charge of the New York Division, US Postal Inspection Service, Ronald J. Verrochio said: “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, along with our local law enforcement partner, the Manhattan DA’s Office, will investigate and prosecute those individuals who carry out illegal activities involving the mails, continuing a long tradition of protecting the American public.”

According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, from approximately August 2009 to May 2011, several of the defendants (the “Recruiters”) enlisted individuals to open personal savings and checking accounts at various TD Bank locations. Upon opening the accounts, the new account holders received Visa credit/ATM cards associated with the accounts.

The Recruiters are accused of depositing bad checks drawn either from closed bank accounts or from accounts with insufficient funds, from banks other than TD Bank, into their newly-opened savings accounts at TD Bank. Normally, the funds from these deposits would not be available until the checks cleared. However, the transfer of funds via telephone from the savings accounts to the checking accounts allowed immediate access to the funds before the checks cleared, a circumstance exploited by the Recruiters.

According to the charges, in order to reap the benefits of their fraudulent scheme, the Recruiters traveled with the defendants who opened the accounts to special cash access locations sought out because they had either no limits or high dollar limits in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, and also to Western Union locations around Manhattan and elsewhere. Once there, the account-holders used the Visa/ATM cards to withdraw as much of the credited funds as they could. The charged account-holders were generally paid a few hundred dollars for their services, while the Recruiters pocketed most of the stolen funds. 

Those alleged to be Recruiters are JOSE M. CRUZ, JOEL LUCIANO a/k/a JOEL TORRES, FREDDIE MERCADO a/k/a FREDDIE MERCADO JOUBERT, ALBERTO TORRES, JANE DOE, JOSE CRUZ, JENNIFER FELDMETH, STEPHANIE ROMAN, and HECTOR HERNANDEZ a/k/a “BORI”.

The indictments and arrests are the culmination of an 18-month investigation, which used video surveillance, physical surveillance, computer forensics, and extensive analysis of credit card, banking, and phone records. The investigation is ongoing.

Assistant District Attorney Sharon Appelbaum is handling the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney David Szuchman, Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau; Assistant District Attorney Kenn Kern, Deputy Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau; and Executive Assistant District Attorney Adam S. Kaufmann, Chief of the Investigation Division. The following individuals also assisted in the investigation: Cybercrime Analysts Jasmine Mucha and Bret Rubin of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau; Deputy Chief Investigator for Cybercrime Richard Brittson; Investigators Robert Muldoon and Erin Donovan of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau, under the supervision of John Bilich, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau; Administrative Assistant David Vega, of the District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Unit; Laurence Hayes of the High Technology Analysis Unit; Trial Preparation Assistant Juan Maldonado; Interns Jesse Lyon, Meagan Mszyco, and Yasheng Lin; and investigators from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

District Attorney Vance thanked United States Postal Inspectors Adam Fornaro and Jeff Gerdes, of the United States Postal Inspectors, as well as Investigators at TD Bank, Global Cash Access, MCA Processing, and Western Union. District Attorney Vance also thanked the New York City Police Department and the Atlantic County, New Jersey, Prosecutors’ Office.


Defendant Information:

STEVEN ADDISON, D.O.B. 9/11/1969
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

TREVOR O. ALLEN, D.O.B. 1/19/1970
Brooklyn, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ALEXANDER ANDUJAR, D.O.B. 7/24/1986
Brooklyn, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

FREDDIE AUSTIN, D.O.B. 7/30/1960
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

MADELEINE BALAGUER, D.O.B. 11/7/1989
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JASMIN BARRAGAN, D.O.B., 6/25/1985
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JOHN PAUL BAZIGNAN, D.O.B. 4/13/1987
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

TRAVIS BELL, D.O.B. 4/5/1989
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

LAURA BERRIOS, D.O.B. 12/16/1987
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

DAMIEN BLANKS, D.O.B. 6/22/1978
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JAMALA BLY, D.O.B. 7/18/1977
Brooklyn, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

DANNY CARDONA, D.O.B., 6/26/1975
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

IRIS CARRASQUILLO, D.O.B. 10/10/1989
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

VIVIANA CHAPARRO, D.O.B. 7/13/1970
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

FRANK CLARK, D.O.B. 2/17/1983
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ISRAEL COLON, D.O.B. 8/14/1984
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

LOURDES COLON, D.O.B. 12/2/1978
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

CARLOS E. CORTIJO, D.O.B. 2/24/1969
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JOSE CRUZ, D.O.B. 5/8/1958
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JOSE M. CRUZ, D.O.B. 10/16/1977
Unknown

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

VERONICA CRUZ, D.O.B. 4/22/1986
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

XOCHEEL CRUZ, D.O.B. 10/24/1989
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

SHANE DANIELS, D.O.B. 1/28/1978
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JOANN DEBRO, D.O.B. 8/30/1973
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

MILTON DELACRUZ, D.O.B., 11/7/1983
New York, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ERIK DIAZ, D.O.B. 8/18/1989
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JANE DOE, D.O.B. Unknown
Unknown

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JOHN DOE CURLY HAIR, D.O.B. Unknown
Unknown

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JOHN DOE LOLLIPOP, D.O.B. Unknown
Unknown

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JUSTIN DOUGHERTY, D.O.B. 5/22/1990
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

SEAN EDWARDS, D.O.B. 11/6/1989
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

RICHARD FARGAS, D.O.B. 6/12/1989
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JENNIFER FELDMETH, D.O.B., 9/24/1984
Unknown

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JONAS FERNANDEZ, D.O.B. 12/2/1980
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

DIOSA D. FIGUEROA, D.O.B. 10/28/1986
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JOSEPH FIGUEROA, D.O.B. 9/28/1989
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

NELSON FLORES-ESCOBAR, D.O.B., 2/2/1988
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JOANNA GONZALEZ, D.O.B. 6/11/1971
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

CARLTON GOODWIN, D.O.B. 1/10/1960
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

TERRENCE M. GUY, D.O.B. 6/8/1984
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ORLANDO GUZMAN, D.O.B. 4/3/1981
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

DANIEL HEADLY, JR., D.O.B. 11/18/1986
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

HECTOR HERNANDEZ, D.O.B. 3/21/1978
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

RAYMOND IRIZARRY, D.O.B., 4/21/1980
New York, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JONATHAN JAIMAN, D.O.B. 10/10/1984
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JEAN JAYSURA, D.O.B. 3/3/1978
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

LAVONE KELLY, D.O.B. 4/4/1986
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ERIC LANDRON, D.O.B. 2/11/1990
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JONATHAN LASANTA, D.O.B. 4/18/1990
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ROSA LEON, D.O.B. 10/17/1987
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JAMES LEONARD, D.O.B. 4/13/1971
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

LUIS LOPEZ, D.O.B. 2/7/1984
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JOEL LUCIANO a/k/a JOEL TORRES, D.O.B. 10/25/1981
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 3 counts

EMIL MANZANO, D.O.B. 5/14/1963
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JARELISSE MARTINEZ, D.O.B. 3/2/1987
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JOSE MARTIR, D.O.B. 10/28/1979
Staten Island, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

CRYSTAL MCAULEY, D.O.B., 4/18/1982
Brooklyn, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ANGEL MEDINA, D.O.B. 5/19/1959
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

HERMINIA MEDINA, D.O.B. 1/15/1960
Bronx, New York
Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

FREDDIE MERCADO a/k/a FREDDIE MERCADO JOUBERT, D.O.B. 4/1/1986 Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

DAVID MORALES, D.O.B. 9/23/1963
Brooklyn, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

CARLOS MORENO, D.O.B., 3/21/1977
New York, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

DAYNA NIEVES, D.O.B. 11/26/1988
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

RAUL PADILLA, JR. , D.O.B. 7/23/1985
New York, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JOSE PENA, D.O.B. 2/12/1988
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

RAFAEL PEREZ, D.O.B. 10/13/1973
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

XIOMARA PEREZ, D.O.B. 7/16/1989
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JEREMIAH PETERSON, D.O.B. 12/15/1986
New York, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ILIANET PONCE, D.O.B. 1/23/1975
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

SCOTT RABA, D.O.B. 7/7/1971
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

AMADO RIVERA, D.O.B. 4/24/1960
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ANTONIO RIVERA, D.O.B. 9/21/1956
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JORGE RIVERA, D.O.B. 3/22/1967
Bronx, New York
Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JEFFREY RODRIGUEZ, D.O.B., 2/18/1987
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

RICARDO RODRIGUEZ, D.O.B. 1/27/1987
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

 JUAN LUIS ROMAN, D.O.B. 3/22/1962
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

STEPHANIE ROMAN, D.O.B., 1/23/1983
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JENNIFER ROSARIO, D.O.B., 8/3/1982
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

SABRINA ROSARIO, D.O.B. 7/6/1979
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

FRANCY SANCHEZ, D.O.B., 11/9/1963
Bronx, New York
Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

GREGORIA SANCHEZ, D.O.B. 9/27/1962
New York, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JOSHUA SANDS, D.O.B. 1/16/1985
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

NEREIDA SANTIAGO, D.O.B., 6/2/1990
New York, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

PANAMA SMALLS, D.O.B. 10/24/1981
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JEFFREY W. STILL, D.O.B. 8/8/1960
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

EDWINA TAYLOR, D.O.B. 1/2/1978
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ALBERTO TORRES, D.O.B. 10/11/1980
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

CHRISTOPHER TORRES, D.O.B. 5/5/1989
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JUAN VEGA, D.O.B. 3/22/1973
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ERNESTO VITAL, D.O.B. 11/3/1959
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

TOYIA WHITE, D.O.B. 4/30/1975
Staten Island, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

SANFORD WILLIAMS, D.O.B. 3/12/1948
Queens, New York

Charges:
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

LAKIESHA YOUNG, D.O.B. 7/1/1986
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

TAMIKA YOUNG, D.O.B. 7/1/1986
Bronx, New York

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

[1] The charges contained in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.