Essex county man sentenced to more than five years in prison for bank fraud conspiracy and identity theft
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2011
CAMDEN, N.J. – An Essex County, N.J., man was sentenced today to a total of 70 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy that used legitimate Bank of America accounts to cash more than $200,000 in stolen checks, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Jean Beaujour, a/k/a “J.B.,” 23, of Irvington, N.J., previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft before U.S. District Judge Renee M. Bumb, who also imposed sentence today in Camden federal court.
Judge Bumb sentenced Beaujour to 46 months in prison for the conspiracy to commit bank fraud count and a two-year mandatory consecutive sentence for the aggravated identity theft count, resulting in a total of 70 months in prison.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From late 2007 through June 2008, Beaujour and others paid Bank of America account holders, some whom were students recruited at Essex County College, in Newark, N.J., to accept more than $120,000 worth of stolen checks into their Bank of America accounts. Once the checks cleared, Beaujour and others withdrew cash from those accounts using the account holders’ ATM cards at various Bank of America branches in New Jersey. To conceal their criminal activity, Beaujour and others instructed the account holders to report to the police and to the bank that their ATM cards had been stolen.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Bumb sentenced Beaujour to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $89,413 in restitution.
Prior to today’s sentencing, Judge Bumb sentenced five co-conspirators to terms in prison. The defendants all pleaded guilty to separate Informations each charging one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Michael Iluonokhalumhe, 24, of Newark, N.J., who withdrew cash following the deposit of stolen checks, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Sept. 23, 2010. Reuben Laurore, 21, of Maplewood, N.J., who recruited bank account holders, was sentenced to one month in prison and four months of house arrest on Sept. 23, 2010; Vetchay Vilvert, 21, of Maplewood, N.J., who recruited bank account holders, was sentenced to four months in prison and four months of house arrest on Sept. 24, 2010; Ike Anaele, a/k/a “Isaac Anaele,” 27, of Newark, N.J., who recruited bank account holders, was sentenced to nine months in prison on Sept. 24, 2010; and Sykita Covington, 35, of Newark, N.J., who allowed her account to be used to receive stolen checks, was sentenced to two days in prison and five years of supervised release on Dec. 6, 2010.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, in Newark, with the investigation that resulted in this sentence.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen P. O’Leary, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division.
Defense counsel: Sebastian Bio, Esq., Orange, N.J.