NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 36 months in prison for illegally possessing a firearm and conspiring to defraud two banks of $250,000 using stolen credit cards and blank checks, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Tamir Duval, 23, of Newark, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an indictment charging him with one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, and to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today by videoconference.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On July 27, 2020, Duval unlawfully possessed a Taurus PT740 semi-automatic handgun loaded with seven hollow nose rounds of ammunition. The firearm had been reported stolen from Gastonia, Georgia. Duval was previously convicted in Essex County Superior Court of receiving stolen property, a felony under state law.
From August 2018 through January 2020, Duval and others engaged in a scheme to use stolen credit cards and checks to fraudulently make purchases and withdraw money from two banks, leaving the banks to bear the losses of the scheme.
The credit cards and blank checks were stolen from various New Jersey-based postal facilities and never reached their intended recipients. Duval and his conspirators used the credit cards and checks to make unauthorized purchases at various retail stores and withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATMs) in New Jersey and elsewhere. Duval and his conspirators altered the date, payee, and amount of the stolen checks prior to deposit and then fraudulently withdrew money at various ATMs from third-party account holders’ accounts.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Duval to five years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II; the East Orange Police Department, under the direction of Chief Phyllis Bindi; inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Raimundo Marrero in Newark; and special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas Mahoney, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Blake Coppotelli of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.