Staten Island Man Admits Robbery, Identity Theft, And Defrauding Numerous Women And Businesses
NEWARK, N.J. – A Staten Island, New York, man has admitted robbing a New Jersey business owner in February 2019, defrauding eight New Jersey businesses from July 2016 through January 2019, and defrauding and stealing the identities of three women, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Raymond Scura, 30, pleaded guilty before Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court on Dec. 9, 2019, to an information charging him with wire fraud affecting a financial institution, aggravated identity theft, and Hobbs Act robbery.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Scura used bad checks and stolen credit cards to obtain goods and services, such as a country club membership, limousine services, luxury hotel expenses, exotic car rentals, and a Rolex watch, in order to appear wealthy and obtain the confidence of his victims, often targeting women. Once he convinced his victims of his purported wealth, he would then steal their identities and accounts to make additional purchases. As a result of his fraud and aggravated identity theft offenses, Scura caused losses to individuals and businesses in excess of $250,000
In February 2019, Scura was a customer of an internet-based business owned and operated by a New Jersey man. To pay for the services of the business, Scura wrote at least one fraudulent check to the victim. When the victim insisted on cash payment, Scura drove with the business owner to a bank, where Scura brandished a gun, threatened to kill the victim, and demanded that the victim deposit a fraudulent check for $10,000 into the victim’s bank account and then withdraw $10,000. The victim did as Scura directed and then gave Scura the $10,000.
The Hobbs Act robbery charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense. The wire fraud affecting a financial institution charge carries a statutory maximum of 30 years in prison, and the aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other sentenced imposed. Sentencing is scheduled for April 1, 2020.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, and members of the Belleville Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Mark Minichini, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea. He also thanked the Summit Police Department, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Evesham Police Department for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Amore of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit and Elaine Lou of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.
Defense counsel: Saverio Viggiano Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark