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Press Release

New York Woman Gets Over 13 Years In Prison For Glen Rock, New Jersey, Bank Robbery, Defrauding Elderly Victim Of $198,750

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A White Plains, New York, woman was sentenced today to 162 months in prison for robbing a Glen Rock Savings Bank and fraudulently using an elderly victim’s checks to steal $198,750, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Michelle Cantatore, 53, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to an information charging her with one count of bank robbery and one count of wire fraud. Cantatore had also previously admitted robbing two other banks in Connecticut. These robberies were taken into consideration at today’s sentencing.

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

Cantatore admitted fashioning a paintball gun to look like an actual firearm and using it to rob the Glen Rock Savings Bank on Feb. 15, 2015. Cantatore entered the bank wearing a wig and sunglasses and, while brandishing the paintball gun, shouted to everyone in the bank: “Put your hands up. This is for real. This is a robbery. I have a gun.”  

Cantatore fled the bank after taking money from the vault and a teller station. Law enforcement later tracked her to a hotel room in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

At her plea hearing, Cantatore also admitted robbing a Greenwich Bank and Trust in Riverside, Connecticut, and a JP Morgan Chase Bank in Darien, Connecticut, on Jan. 30, 2015 and Feb. 24, 2015, respectively. In both instances she used an altered paintball gun to threaten the victims.

Cantatore also admitted stealing $198,750 from a sick an elderly man by taking his checks, writing them out to accounts she controlled, and cashing them without his knowledge.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Cantatore to three years of supervised release and ordered her to pay restitution of $406,703.13.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited Special Agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; the Glen Rock Police Department, under the direction of Lt. Daniel Dour; the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Rick Fuentes, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, and the New York office of the FBI with the investigation. He also thanked the Paramus, Paterson, Roxbury and Wayne police departments for their roles.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason S. Gould of the U.S Attorney’s Office Criminal Division of in Newark.

Defense counsel: Kathleen Theurer Esq.

Updated September 9, 2016

Elder Justice
Press Release Number: 16-250