Syracuse, New York - Six members of a stolen mail/counterfeit check cashing ring plead guilty.
RICHARD S. HARTUNIAN, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, and KEVIN NILAND, Inspector in Charge, Boston Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, announced that yesterday and today six members of a stolen mail/counterfeit check cashing ring pled guilty in Federal Court in Syracuse. Yesterday, Jamaine L. Ryder, 37, of Charlotte, NC; Wallik Ryer, 37, of Oswego, NY; Diana Sacco, 29, of Fulton, NY; Timothy Matthew Johnson, 37, of Syracuse, NY and Charles Koflan, 55, of Pennelville, NY, all entered pleas to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and commission of mail fraud in U.S. District Court in Syracuse. A sixth man, Peter Napolitano, 27, of North Syracuse, N.Y. pled guilty today to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and possession of stolen mail. Jamaine Ryder, Wallik Ryer, and Peter Napolitano will be sentenced on June 17, 2013. Diana Sacco, Timothy Matthew Johnson, and Charles Koflan will be sentenced on June 19, 2013 in Syracuse, NY. They face sentences of up to thirty years imprisonment and fines of up to a million dollars for these federal felony offenses.
Three other defendants have previously pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Arcenio Sepulveda, 46, of Syracuse, NY, pled guilty to the same offenses on October 16, 2012 and will be sentenced on March 26, 2013 in Syracuse, NY. Warren G. Johnson pled guilty on December 13, 2012 and will be sentenced on April 17, 2013. Marsha O’Berry pled guilty on November 1, 2011 and will be sentenced on March 27, 2013.
An additional defendant, Donald Ryder, 33, of Charlotte, North Carolina was sentenced on January 17, 2013 to serve 46 months imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release and restitution in the amount of $101, 071.18.
The ring, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, obtained stolen corporate checks from the mail boxes of local businesses in Syracuse, Binghamton and Oswego. The leaders of the group recruited homeless people, drug addicts and others to cash the stolen checks in return for a small portion of the proceeds. The stolen checks were altered to show the check casher’s names as the payees. On November 29, 2010 Syracuse based Postal Inspectors followed members of the ring as they cashed stolen checks at banks in Dewitt. When Postal Inspectors and Dewitt Police moved in to make a traffic stop, a high speed chase ensued through Dewitt during which $18,000.00 was thrown from a vehicle driven by Donald Ryder and occupied by Wallik Ryer as a passenger. The money was recovered by police. The conspiracy operated from November 2010 through June 2011 in Binghamton, Syracuse, and Oswego, New York and resulted in the passing of counterfeit checks worth $141,008.09.
This case was investigated by United States Postal Inspectors from Syracuse, New York and Charlotte, North Carolina. They were assisted in the investigation by Police Departments from the Town of Dewitt and the Village of East Syracuse. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard R. Southwick.