Three Men Charged With Operating Stolen Check-cashing Scheme
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge for the Boston Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven has returned an indictment charging LANGSTON XAVIER NEAL, 36, of Charlotte, North Carolina, BENJII CARR, also known as Rodrick Lawon Davis, 39, of New Haven and North Carolina, and BRANDON KEY BENTLEY, 30, of New Haven, with conspiring to commit bank fraud through a stolen check-cashing scheme. The indictment was returned on May 8, 2014, and the three defendants were arrested yesterday.
The indictment alleges that, between July 2010 and May 2011, NEAL, CARR, and BENTLEY obtained stolen checks, recruited “runners” who would cash the checks, and altered the checks to list the runners as the lawful payees. The defendants drove the runners to several Connecticut bank branches and directed them to enter the banks and cash the checks. The runners were paid a small part of the cash proceeds.
The indictment alleges that more than $100,000 in stolen checks were altered and cashed through this scheme.
If convicted of the charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million. All three defendants are currently detained.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Connecticut Financial Fraud Task Force, and the Branford, Madison, Middlebury, Milford, New Britain, New Haven, New Milford, North Branford, Southbury, Waterbury and Woodbridge Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry K. Kopel.
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