Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Police hooked and sunk a check fraud ring involving 11 alleged members of a street gang who allegedly stole checks from local mailboxes in south Queens, then altered and cashed them in, prosecutors announced on Wednesday.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, the members of the “SNOW” gang “fished” out checks left in local mailboxes and erased the original payee’s name and currency amounts in order to forge them for their own profit. Over the last two months, it is alleged, the gang reaped more than $33,500 from cashing the forged checks at various banks across the city.

In the course of the scheme, Brown noted, the participants dumped any mail that did not contain checks.

“As alleged, these SNOW gang members systematically defrauded victims out of thousands of dollars,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said in a statement. “Let these arrests send a message to gangs who want to operate in our city: the NYPD, along with its law enforcement partners, will work relentlessly to hold you responsible for all of your criminal acts.”

“Mail theft is a very personal crime,” added U.S. Postal Inspector-in-Charge Philip R. Bartlett. “When you steal mail from a blue collection box, you’re stealing from your neighbors, business owners and friends. There is no place for this type of unlawful activity.”

Part of the ring was uncovered on the morning of Dec. 9, 2015, when police responded to a 911 call about an individual stealing mail from a blue collection box in Cambria Heights. Upon arriving at the corner of 119th Avenue and 228th Street, prosecutors said, the officers spotted a man later identified as Malik Franklin, 22, of Jamaica — who matched the description of the mail thief — driving a silver/gray 2005 Honda Civic at a high speed.

Reportedly, the officers pursued the car, but lost sight of it as it turned and went through a red light. Police spotted the same vehicle moments later after it crashed at the corner of 121st Avenue and Springfield Boulevard; authorities said Franklin was in the front seat, and numerous pieces of mail and checks were found in the car.

Another piece of the case came together on Jan. 11, when police officers spotted a car blocking a driveway at the corner of 134th Avenue and 154th Street in Rochdale. Upon approaching the car, they observed three others charged in the ring — Brooklyn resident Terrell Bishop, 33; and Jamaica’s Darryl Carrington, 26, Alexus Warren, 19 — inside the car along with two devices known to remove mail from mailboxes. Officers also found various stolen checks, including ones that were either completely or partially forged.

Others charged in the scheme were Jamaica residents Robert J. Augustine, 21; Anthony Brannon, 23; Henry Brown, 30; Yuri Oluh, 16; Tawayna M. Piper, 32; Jamal Woodford, 31; and Brooklyn resident Devon Depeazer, 22.

All suspects were variously charged with counts of forgery, criminal possession of a forged instrument, criminal possession of stolen property, identity theft, petit larceny and tampering with private communications. They each face up to seven years behind bars if convicted.

Comments:

Join The Discussion



Profile picture
Tillman February 04, 2016 / 02:48AM
One reason why I pay bills electronically and not by postal mail. The bank tellers should also be investigated for participating in the theft and fraud. How could they not notice that checks brought to their windows for cashing were altered...? Idyot thieves didn't realize that mail theft and fraud are federal crimes which translates to federal prison which then means they aren't going to have a good day for a long time.
Reply

Related Stories
Property theft and scams continue to drive crime in Flushing and Whitestone, police say
Property theft and scams continue to drive crime in Flushing and Whitestone, police say
Massive credit card fraud ring busted in Queens; thousands of victims were compromised
Massive credit card fraud ring busted in Queens; thousands of victims were compromised
Popular Stories
Photo via Google Maps
UPDATE: Police arrest gunman who robbed a Bayside bar in the early morning
Photo via Shutterstock, inset courtesy of the Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez's office
UPDATE: Jamaica gang member sentenced for shooting two security guards in Brooklyn
Photo via Twitter/@FDNY
FDNY mourns after firefighter takes a fatal fall while battling a Ridgewood blaze


Skip to toolbar