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Press Release

Brooklyn Man Indicted in Scheme to Steal Checks and Defraud Banks

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A Brooklyn, New York, man was charged for his role in a scheme to steal and alter checks from the mail and fraudulently obtain funds from banks by depositing the stolen and altered checks into bank accounts belonging to individuals other than the intended recipients, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Noah Aranzamendi, 25, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged by indictment with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and the receipt and possession of stolen mail. Aranzamendi was arraigned on May 9, 2024, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre in Newark federal court and was detained.

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

From February 2020 to February 2022, Aranzamendi conspired with others to steal checks from the mail in Bergen County and elsewhere, which he then sold to third parties or deposited, sometimes in altered or duplicate form, into the bank accounts of complicit accountholders who had provided access to their bank accounts for the scheme. Aranzamendi obtained stolen official USPS arrow keys, which Aranzamendi used to access mail and steal checks directly from USPS receptacles. Aranzamendi and his conspirators then targeted the accounts associated with the checks he stole and created false identifications in the names of the accountholders, which he and his conspirators used to make fraudulent withdrawals from those accounts. The scheme resulted in losses to victims of at least $240,213.

The count of bank fraud conspiracy is punishable by a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. The count of receipt and possession of stolen mail is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The bank fraud conspiracy count is also punishable by a fine of up to $1 million; all other charges are punishable by a maximum potential fine of up to $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss, whichever is greatest.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark, under the direction of Postal Inspector in Charge Christopher A. Nielsen, Philadelphia Division; and special agents with the U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi, Northeast Area Field Office. He also thanked the Teaneck Police Department under Chief Andrew R. McGurr.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachelle M. Navarro of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated May 13, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-170