10 Accused In Check Fraud Scheme Allegedly Involving Mail Theft

April 10, 2018 - 8:30 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Ten people were indicated Monday on allegations that they stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from several banks through a check fraud scheme involving stolen mail.

As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported, the scammers would follow postal employees on their appointed rounds and steal mail and checks from the satchels. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said the thieves would alter the checks, deposit them, and then withdraw as much cash as the banks would allow.

The scheme netted more than $500,000, Vance said.

To open up accounts, Vance said, the suspects are accused of recruiting in shelters and having the homeless open up the account and then turn over the debit card.

Accused ringleader Craig Haffaney, 48; Andre Evans, 54; and James Anderson, 31, were accused of recruiting at the homeless shelters, as well as public assistance offices.

The bank accounts were used by Haffaney, Evans, and Anderson, as well as Nyomi Anderson, 37, and Dorrinda Bell, 63, to deposit forged checks and checks drawn on empty accounts belonging to co-conspirators – including Eric Benson, 68, Vance’s office said.

Atanda Nuraina, 58, and Deirdre Johnson, 44, also conspired with Bell and Haffaney to steal funds, prosecutors said. In a separate but related scheme, Bell; Johnson; Kendra Golden, 44; and Darlene Gregory, 45, stole about $16,000 from USALLIANCE Financial through fraudulent wire transfers, prosecutors said.