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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 29, 2021

Union County Man Admits Conspiring To Commit Bank Fraud Using Checks Stolen From Mail

NEWARK, N.J. – A Union County, New Jersey, man admitted today to conspiring to commit bank fraud by soliciting U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employees to steal check books from the mail and depositing fraudulent checks, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Brian Previlon, 28, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

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

Beginning in summer 2019 through Oct. 22, 2019, Previlon conspired to fraudulently obtain money from victim financial institutions by, among other things, depositing checks stolen from the mail into accounts at victim financial institutions and withdrawing funds from those accounts before the victim financial institutions identified the fraudulent checks and blocked further withdrawals. Previlon and his co-conspirators arranged for USPS employees to steal blank check books from the mail in exchange for cash payments. USPS employees provided the checks to Previlon and his co-conspirators, who fraudulently forged the signatures of the accountholders and negotiated the checks by making them payable to individuals. Previlon and his co-conspirators obtained and attempted to obtain approximately $38,364 from victim financial institutions.

The conspiracy charge to which Previlon pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 3, 2021.   

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Rodney M. Hopkins, and special agents with the USPS-Office of Inspector General, Northeast Area Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi, with the investigation leading to today’s plea. She also thanked the U.S. Secret Service, the New Jersey State Police, the Elizabeth Police Department, and the Secaucus Police Department for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine K. Lou of the Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Georgina Giordano Pallitto Esq., Newark

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
21-344
Updated July 29, 2021