Tuesday, December 24, 2013
 

 

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Two sentenced to prison for roles in major identity theft ring

NEW YORK – Two men, form the Bronx and Yonkers man are facing respective terms of up to thirteen years imprisonment and nine years imprisonment for their roles in identity theft rings that cost several banks total losses of more than one and a half million dollars.

Shawn Fagan, 32, a/k/a “S”, a co-director of one identity theft ring, pled guilty to one count of Enterprise Corruption, a Class B felony offense. Markese Jones, 23, a/k/a “Kese”, pleaded guilty to two counts of Enterprise Corruption, a Class B felony, and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the second degree, a Class D felony. Jones assisted in making forged documents and recruiting people for both identity theft rings uncovered by investigators. The guilty pleas by Fagan and Jones were entered before Acting State Supreme Court Justice Martin Marcus who set sentencing for Fagan on January 16, 2014, and for Jones on January 30, 2014 in Part H78.

Under the terms of the plea agreements Judge Marcus will sentence Fagan, of 1011 Washington Avenue, the Bronx, to 6 ½ to 13 years imprisonment and Jones, of 159 Saratoga Avenue, Yonkers, to 3 to 9 years imprisonment.

The convictions were the result of a long term investigation started by the Office of the Bronx District Attorney and later expanded to include the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Service. The investigation was launched after customers with J.P. Morgan/Chase complained that funds had been withdrawn from their accounts. While working with investigators from J.P. Morgan/Chase it was discovered that customers from as far away as Louisiana and Florida had been victimized. During the course of the investigation eavesdropping warrants were obtained to further the investigation. Investigators also logged hundreds of hours of physical surveillance of these two defendants and other alleged members of the two identity theft rings.

The rings would obtain the names, addresses and other personal information of hundreds of victims and create counterfeit identification documents, driver licenses and fraudulent bank cards in the names of those customers. The counterfeit picture ID would contain a photograph of a so called “runner”, an individual who would be driven to a bank branch with a forged withdrawal slip to withdraw funds from a victim’s account. In some cases counterfeit checks would be drawn on the account or funds would be transferred to other accounts, or funds would be withdrawn via an ATM. Investigators uncovered thousands of such transactions dating as far back as 2009 which resulted in losses totaling more than $1,500,000 for J.P. Morgan/Chase, and hundreds of thousands of dollars more from TD Bank, Bank of America, and Citibank.

Fifteen other individuals who also were indicted as part of this investigation are still awaiting trial.