IDENTITY THEFT RING FROM NEW YORK ALLEGEDLY STEALS $293,600 AT FIVE ATLANTIC CITY CASINOS USING CASH ADVANCE PLOY

Posted by  Richard Gandon   in       2 years ago     1090 Views     Leave your thoughts  

TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that 12 New York residents were indicted yesterday for allegedly using 52 stolen credit cards in five Atlantic City casinos to perpetrate a cash advance scheme that stole $293,600 from banks that guaranteed the transactions.

The Division of Criminal Justice obtained the indictment from the Atlantic County grand jury, which charged each of the 12 New Yorkers with second-degree conspiracy, second-degree identity theft, second-degree theft by deception and third-degree fraudulent use of a credit card.

The indictment alleges that over the course several days in May 2011, 10 of the defendants entered the casinos and conducted the cash withdrawals at the Showboat, Tropicana, Caesars, Harrah’s and Bally’s casinos.  When they allegedly conducted the transactions, they presented their legitimate identification but used the fraudulent credit cards; those credit cards were embossed with their name, but the magnetic strip embedded on the card belonged to a credit card in another’s name.  Because the name embossed on the card matched the legitimate identification provided by the suspects, and the credit card numbers on the magnetic strip on the card were valid numbers, the suspects were able to obtain the cash advances.

The Division of Criminal Justice is alleging that those 10 defendants were acting at the direction of Lena Guralnik, 41, of Bronx, N.Y., and Intiaz Khan, 33, of New Windsor, N.Y., who led the ring by transporting the group to Atlantic City, providing them with the stolen credit cards and supervising the transactions. Guralnik and Khan also allegedly kept the bulk of the stolen cash.

“Theft comes in many forms but these alleged crimes are concerning because the device used here were straight-forward and simple,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “Though the banks were on the hook for the financial cost of the alleged fraud, every New Jerseyan should be aware of the threat of identity theft and this is a good time for every resident to make sure they have not been a victim by checking their credit report and closely monitoring their financial accounts for suspicious transactions. “

“The defendants used a systematic approach to target what they believed were weaknesses in the identification process, but their patterns soon became evident,” said Division of Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig. “With the help of our enforcement partners, we will continue to look for dubious financial activity.”

The 10 charged with conducting the cash transactions include:

  • Michelle Bosch, 37, of Bronx, N.Y., who allegedly used fourteen different fraudulent credit cards, at five casinos, in 60 separate cash advance transactions totaling $70,100;
  • William Durant, 29, of Bronx, N.Y., who allegedly used five different fraudulent credit cards, at three casinos, in 40 separate cash advance transactions totaling $45,200;
  • William Blackwell, 42, of Bronx, N.Y., who allegedly used eleven different fraudulent credit cards, at four casinos, in 31 separate cash advance transactions totaling $44,900;  
  • Daeshaun Hollington, 35, of Bronx, N.Y., who allegedly used seven different fraudulent credit cards, at four casinos, in 21separate cash advance transactions totaling $37,100;
  • Shwana McCune, 30, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who allegedly used three different fraudulent credit cards, at three casinos, in twelve separate cash advance transactions totaling $36,000;
  • Jonathan Collazo, 30, of Bronx, N.Y., who allegedly used four different fraudulent credit cards, at three casinos, in 21 separate cash advance transactions totaling $18,300;
  • Chastity Rosario, 39, of Bronx, N.Y., who allegedly used one fraudulent credit card, at two casinos, in eight separate cash advance transactions totaling $14,500;
  • Nyasia Foster, 26, of Bronx, N.Y., who allegedly used four different fraudulent credit cards, at four casinos, in twelve separate cash advance transactions totaling $13,500;
  • Christopher Espada, 28, of Bronx, N.Y., who allegedly used two different fraudulent credit cards, at three casinos, in three separate cash advance transactions totaling $12,000;
  • Krista Walker, 41, of Bronx, N.Y., who allegedly used one fraudulent credit card, at one casino, in one separate cash advance transaction totaling $2,000;

 The Division of Criminal Justice believes the suspects are all linked together for several reasons. They allegedly conducted their cash advance transactions in the same time period and all left the casino with the funds directly after the transaction was complete — they did not gamble with the funds.  The transactions were allegedly all conducted in the middle of the night and in early morning hours. Lastly, they were all allegedly seen getting into the same vehicle after conducting the transactions and leaving the casino.

Second-degree crimes can carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a criminal fine of $150,000, while third-degree crimes can carry a prison sentence of up to five years and a $15,000 fine. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Deputy Attorney Yvonne Maher presented the case to the grand jury on behalf of the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau. New Jersey State Police Casino Investigations Financial Crimes Unit Detective Andrew Koch assisted with the investigation.

About  

Richard Gandon is the Owner and Publisher of hyper-local community news websites. With a background in financial services, sales and training, he bring a unique perspective to journalism. He hosts a bi-monthly radio show and is a professional photographer.