City Employee Arrested for Her Role in Counterfeit Check Cashing Ring
$2.7 Million in Checks Issued by NYC to Vendors for Administration for Children Services Stolen
DARLY ESTINVAL, a Principle Administrative Associate with the New York City Administration for Children Services (ACS), was arrested earlier today for her role in a counterfeit check cashing ring that comprised dozens of participants and operated principally in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, New York.1 The defendant’s initial appearance is scheduled this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Marilyn D. Go, at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.
The arrest was announced by Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Rose Gill Hearn, Commissioner, New York City Department of Investigation (DOI), Brian Parr, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Secret Service, New York, and Ronald Verrochio, Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, New York.
According to the complaint, the defendant stole checks issued by New York City payable to vendors who had provided goods and services to ACS. The defendant then passed the checks, or information contained on the checks – such as check and routing numbers – to coconspirators, who either altered the original checks by changing the payee name from that of the vendor to that of a coconspirator, or used information from the original City checks to create counterfeit checks. The checks were then deposited into newly-opened bank accounts in the names of the coconspirators. Once the checks cleared, the proceeds were distributed among the participants in the scheme.
Over the course of almost three years, 22 checks were stolen and used to create 66 altered or counterfeited checks that had a total face value of $2.7 million. To date, the scheme netted approximately $500,000, with up to half of that amount going to the defendant.
United States Attorney Campbell and DOI Commissioner Hearn thanked the New York City Department of Finance and the Comptroller’s Office for their assistance in the investigation. Mr. Campbell and Ms. Hearn added that the investigation is continuing.
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel D. Brownell.
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