By Zach Gewelb
A Far Rockaway man admitted to bilking more than $650,000 from the estates of two Queens sisters who died in 2013 and 2014, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Joshua Stephens-Anselm, 28, of Beach 24th Street in Far Rockaway pleaded guilty Oct. 31 to grand larceny before Queens Criminal Court Judge Gia Morris, who indicated that he could face six months in jail at his sentencing scheduled for Jan. 7, 2019.
Stephens-Anselm was also ordered to sign a confession of judgment in the approximate amount of $662,465.91, according to the DA’s office.
“In pleading guilty, the defendant has now admitted to taking advantage of his position as a trusted bank employee to dip into the accounts of two deceased sisters,” Brown said. “The defendant faces time behind bars as a result of his greed.”
Between June 2016 and July 2017, prosecutors said, Stephens-Anselm funneled money from the estates of Edith Thompson, who died in December 2013, and her sister Marjorie Thompson, who died in November 2014.
The bank accounts were set up at JP Morgan Chase, where the Stephens-Anselm worked as a private client banker, authorities said. He then issued checks to himself from the sisters’ accounts and eventually set up an app on his mobile phone to provide himself with electronic payments, the charges stated.
Stephens-Anselm used the money to pay for personal expenses, according to Brown, including his rent, utilities, cable bills, trips and hotel stays. He even paid off a friends’ Victoria’s Secret credit card with the stolen proceeds.
A forensic examination of the two estates revealed that more than $590,000 was stolen from the estate of Marjorie Thompson and another $70,000 was taken from the estate of Edith Thompson, according to the charges. JP Morgan Chase reimbursed both accounts in full.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe