Two Charged with Conspiracy to Defraud Bank, Bank Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden County man and a Bronx, New York, man were charged for their participation in a scheme to steal bank customer identities and then use that information to steal more than $600,000, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Jamere Hill-Birdsong, 32, of Gloucester City, New Jersey, and Lamar Melhado, 31, of the Bronx, New York, are each charged in a 10-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, multiple counts of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Both Hill-Birdsong and Melhado were arrested and will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio in Camden federal court via videoconference this afternoon.
According to the indictment:
From August 2016 through August 2017, Hill-Birdsong and Melhado conspired with each other and others to defraud a Mount Laurel, New Jersey, bank. Hill-Birdsong worked inside the 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 customer’s 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 moneys from the customer’s accounts.
Hill-Birdsong is charged with bank fraud conspiracy, five counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Melhado is charged with bank fraud conspiracy, six counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Each count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud are punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Each count of aggravated identity theft is punishable by an additional consecutive term of imprisonment of up to two years.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited agents of the FBI’s South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll in Philadelphia, with the investigation leading to the indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Vondra Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.