New York Man Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Role in Bank Fraud
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Bronx, New York, man was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for his role in a scheme to steal bank customer identities and then use the information to steal more than $600,000, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Lamar Melhado, 32, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb to Count 1 of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Judge Bumb imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From August 2016 through August 2017, Melhado conspired with Jamere Hill-Birdsong, of Camden, and others, to defraud a Mount Laurel, New Jersey, bank. Hill-Birdsong worked inside the banks’s call center and recruited other call center employees to participate in the scheme by stealing the identities and account information of customers who called into the bank’s call center.
The conspirator bank employees would then take photographs or screenshots of the bank customers’ account information and signatures and would send that information to Hill-Birdsong and Melhado. The conspirators then had phony identification documents made in the names of the bank customers, and used various runners to go into bank branches and make unauthorized cash withdrawals. The conspirators also used the stolen identity information to conduct unauthorized online transfers of monies from the customer’s accounts. Hill-Birdsong was indicted in March 2021 on conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft; those charges remain pending. The charges and allegations contained in the indictment against Hill-Birdson are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Bumb sentenced Melhado to five years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $604,096 and forfeiture of $151,024.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited agents of the FBI’s South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire in Philadelphia, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Vondra Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.