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Press Release

New York Man Admits Role in Theft from Retired Woman’s Bank Account

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Robert Fuller, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that MAVANI COLEMAN, 44, of Brooklyn, New York, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to one count of bank fraud.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2018, Gregory Ivy, of New Haven, began working for a retired woman (“the victim”), doing odd jobs for her.  In October 2018, Ivy began to steal checks from the victim’s checkbook while in her home.  He then wrote checks payable to himself, forged the victim’s signature on the checks, and deposited the checks into his personal credit union account.  Ivy subsequently gave stolen blank checks on which he had forged the victim’s signature to Coleman, and Coleman filled in the name of the payee and the amount to be paid.  Ivy and Coleman initially agreed that they would arrange to deposit the checks into other persons’ bank accounts, and Ivy would receive half of the proceeds.  Coleman, who worked with others to cash or deposit the stolen checks, would kick back to Ivy amounts typically ranging from $500 to $800.  At times, Ivy did not receive his agreed-upon share of the proceeds.

Coleman also used the routing number and account number of the victim’s bank account to arrange electronic funds transfers (EFTs) from the victim’s account to make payments for himself, his business, his family members, and other friends and acquaintances.

Coleman worked with other individuals, including Lamont Bethea, to cash or deposit stolen checks on which Ivy had forged the victim’s signature, and Bethea also used the routing and account number to arrange EFTs from the victim’s account to make payments for himself and others.  Bethea also provided the routing and bank account numbers to other individuals so they could arrange similar EFTs for themselves and others from the victim’s account.

Coleman, Ivy, Bethea and other participants attempted to obtain a total of $624,818.28 from the victim’s bank account.  Because the victim’s bank account became overdrawn, some attempted check deposits or EFTs were reversed, resulting in a loss to the victim of $479,569.08.  Coleman personally stole $33,869 from the victim during his involvement in the scheme, and family members and associates of Coleman were responsible for the theft of $248,423.09 from the account.

Coleman was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on April 6, 2023.  At sentencing, which is not scheduled, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years.  He is released on a $50,000 bond pending sentencing.

Ivy and Bethea previously pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of Bank of America.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Sheldon.

The Justice Department has established a National Elder Fraud Hotline to provide services to seniors who may be victims of financial fraud.  The Hotline is staffed by experienced case managers who can provide personalized support to callers.  Case managers assist callers with reporting the suspected fraud to relevant agencies and by providing resources and referrals to other appropriate services as needed.  When applicable, case managers will complete a complaint form with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) for Internet-facilitated crimes and submit a consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission on behalf of the caller.  The Hotline’s toll free number is 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311).  For more information, please visit

Updated February 15, 2024

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud