FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2012
NEWARK, N.J. – A Newark man today admitted his role in a scheme in which he and others stole personal checks from the U.S. mail and then deposited them into their personal bank accounts, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Hassan Childs, 25, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court to an Information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Childs and his co-conspirators gained access to blank checks that were sent via U.S. Mail and stolen from unsuspecting victims. Childs and his co-conspirators fraudulently endorsed the checks for a certain sum and deposited those checks into legitimate bank accounts that defendants and unnamed co-conspirators opened at TD Bank, Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Garden State Community Bank, Hudson City Savings Bank, PNC Bank and Valley National Bank. Before the victims and the banks discovered the checks were fraudulent, Childs and his co-conspirators had withdrawn the funds either via Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or by filling out a withdrawal slip. U.S. Postal Inspection Service and FBI agents were able to obtain bank video surveillance, which captured Childs making fraudulent deposits of the stolen checks and withdrawals of the proceeds of those checks.
Childs and his co-conspirators deposited $1,478,695 in fraudulent checks stolen from 122 victims, which were deposited into 258 different bank accounts opened by the defendants or unnamed co-conspirators, resulting in a total loss of $625,000.
On the count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, Childs faces a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Philip R. Bartlett; and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Ward, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dara Aquila Govan and Michael H. Robertson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
Defense Counsel: Robert Haney Esq., Princeton, N.J.