News and Press Releases

Two elizabeth, n.J., women plead guilty to operating counterfeit check scheme



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 19, 2013


 

NEWARK, N.J. – Two Elizabeth, N.J., women admitted today to conspiring to commit bank fraud by depositing more than half a million dollars in counterfeit checks into different TD Bank accounts, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Latisha White, 28, and Synethia Bland, 30, each pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini to one count of bank fraud conspiracy in the superseding indictment against them.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Between October 2009 and May 2012, White created counterfeit checks on her computer using commercially available check-writing software. White and Bland deposited the counterfeit checks into multiple accounts at TD Bank. In addition, Bland recruited others to use their own accounts or open new accounts to deposit the counterfeit checks.

White and Bland employed a variety of methods to withdraw the fraudulent funds, including making ATM cash withdrawals, submitting cash withdrawal slips and making debit card purchases on merchandise and postal money orders.

White and Bland each admitted they arranged the deposit of more than 150 counterfeit checks into more than 120 different bank accounts. They also each admitted that they deposited counterfeit checks that totaled more than $500,000.

The charge to which White and Bland pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for April 24, 2014.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James Mottola; postal inspectors, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates; and investigators at the Union County Prosecutor=s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Grace H. Park, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bohdan Vitvitsky of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

13-478                                         

Defense counsel:

Bland: Rubin Sinins Esq., Springfield, N.J.

White: Ruth Liebesman Esq., Paramus, N.J.

Bland, Synethia and White, Latisha Superseding Indictment

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