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Press Release

Two New York Men Charged with Scheme to Steal Checks and Defraud Banks

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

NEWARK, N.J. – Two New York men were arrested today for their participation in a scheme to steal and alter checks from the mail and engage in bank fraud, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Nigel Lynch, 19, of Yonkers, New York, and Alique Jordan Clarke, 20, of Bronx, New York, are each charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. They are scheduled to appear this afternoon by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward Kiel.

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

From February 2020 to November 2020, Lynch, Clarke, and others conspired to steal checks from mailboxes in Morris, Essex, Somerset, and Passaic counties, alter the stolen checks, and deposit the altered checks into bank accounts controlled by Lynch, Clarke and their conspirators. The investigation has identified over 294 checks with a face value of over $1.3 million that have been stolen, altered, and deposited in accounts controlled by Lynch, Clarke, and their conspirators.

The conspiracy to commit bank fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Newark Division, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Rodney M. Hopkins, with the investigation leading to today’s charges. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vijay Dewan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated May 5, 2021

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 21-186