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Press Release

Bergen County, New Jersey, Woman Admits Check Fraud Scheme

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County, New Jersey, woman today admitted her role in conspiring to deposit more than $1 million in fraudulent checks into different bank accounts, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Chunhua Jin, 45, of Ridgefield, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court to an information charging her with one count of bank fraud conspiracy.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From July 2014 to April 2015, Jin and others opened accounts at banks, such as Bank of America, in the names of fake businesses. The conspirators then made small deposits and withdrawals over several weeks to make the accounts appear legitimate. Jin or a conspirator would eventually deposit a fake check for a large dollar amount into the account. The victim banks typically credited some or all of the deposit amount on the fake check for immediate withdrawal. The conspirators then withdrew as much money as possible from the account before the bank realized that the check was fraudulent and blocked further withdrawals. Jin and others made ATM cash withdrawals, submitted cash withdrawal slips and make debit card purchases on merchandise. Jin admitted that the scheme resulted in a loss to the banks of at least $1.7 million.

The charge to which Jin pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 24, 2016.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Cynthia Shoffner; investigators from the Middlesex County Prosecutor=s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey; and investigators from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin S. Herring of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

Defense counsel: Peter Weiner Esq., Union City, New Jersey          

Updated September 2, 2016

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 16-142