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Press Release

New York Woman Admits Role in Counterfeit Check Bank Fraud Scheme

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

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MEEM JANNAT, 24, of Brooklyn, New York, formerly of Waterbury, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel to one count of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud stemming from her role in a counterfeit check scheme.

Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the court proceeding occurred via videoconference.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between approximately December 2017 and January 2019, Jannat and her co-conspirators, including Jonell Bonilla, Tania Cruz and Lilibeth Perez, obtained access to bank accounts by recruiting individuals through social media and persuading the individuals to share their account information, including debit cards and associated PIN numbers.  The account holders were paid for providing access to their bank accounts.  Jannat and her co-conspirators misrepresented to the account holders that U.S. Postal Service money orders or authentic checks would be deposited into their accounts.  After the co-conspirators had access to the accounts, they deposited counterfeit checks into those accounts, and withdrew money from the accounts before the banks discovered the checks to be counterfeit.

Through this scheme, the co-conspirators defrauded at least 12 banks of a total of approximately $240,000.  In pleading guilty, Jannat agreed that the loss attributable to her role in the scheme is $50,389.05.

Jannat is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on October 21, 2020, at which time she faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years.

Jannat was arrested on January 14, 2019.  She is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing.

Bonilla, Cruz and Perez previously pleaded guilty to related charges and await sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Secret Service.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Pierpont, Jr.

Updated July 1, 2020

Financial Fraud